T.L. Winslow's 2007 C.E. Historyscope

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

2007 - The Double-Oh Seven Al Gore Climate Change Apocalypse Pockmarked Pair of Lips Don't Tase Me Bro' Nappy-Headed Ho Year? Armageddon edges closer as Iran and the U.S. tangle in a proxy war in Iraq, while Blair goes down in Britain and the Scots take over to save the day?

Gordon Brown of Britain (1951-) Harriet Ruth Harman of Britain (1950-) Alistair Darling of Britain (1954-) David Miliband of Britain (1965-) Edward Michael Balls of Britain (1967-) Yvette Cooper of Britain (1969-) Edward Samuel Miliband of Britain (1969-) British Adm. Sir Alan West (1948-) Nicolas Sarkozy of France (1955-) Francois Fillon of France (1954-) Yasuo Fukuda of Japan (1936-) Rafael Correa of Ecuador (1963-) Moshe Katsav of Israel (1945-) Shimon Peres of Israel (1923-2016) Salam Fayyad of Palestine (1952-) Lee Myung-bak of South Korea (1941-) Pratibha Patil of India (1934-) Abdullah Gül of Turkey (1949-) Kevin Michael Rudd of Australia (1957-) Umaru Yar'Adua of Nigeria (1951-2010) Sidi Mohamed Ould Chikh Abdallahi of Mauritania (1938-) Valdis Zatlers of Latvia (1955-) U.S. Gen. Douglas E. Lute (1953-) U.S. Gen. William Eldridge Odom (1932-2008) Bill Ritter of the U.S. (1956-) Adel A. Al-Jubeir (1962-) Dominique Strauss-Kahn (1949-) Robert Bruce Zoellick of the U.S. (1953-) Abu Ayyub al-Masri (1968-2007) Hrant Dink (1954-2007) Don Imus (1940-) Van Jones (1968-) Darrent Williams (1982-2007) Caesar Borja Sr. (1954-2007) Eliot Laurence Spitzer of the U.S. (1959-) John Michael 'Mike' McConnell of the U.S. (1943-) George John Mitchell Jr. of the U.S. (1933-) David Axelrod of the U.S. (1955-) Bamir Topi of Albania (1957-) Srgjan Asan Kerim of Macedonia (1948-) Steven Hayes (1963-) and Joshua Komisarjevsky (1980-) Kate Middleton (1982-) Nada Prouty (1970-) Michael Devlin (1965-) Shawn Hornbeck (1991-) Archbishop Stanislaw Wojciech Wielgus (1939-) Baitullah Mehsud (1974-2009) Rochom P'ngieng (1979-) Fawaz Damra Tamera Jo Freeman (1967-) Lane Kiffin (1975-) Jim Samples (1963-) Aqua Teen Hunger Force Scandal, 2007 Veronica Lario Berlusconi (1956-) and Silvio Berlusconi (1936-) William Oefelein of the U.S. (1965-) Lisa Nowak  of the U.S. (1963-) Gavin Newsom (1967-) of the U.S. and Ruby Rippey-Tourk (1972-) Vergie Arthur Judge Larry Seidlin (1950-) Tongsun Park (1935-) Keith Maurice Ellison of the U.S. (1963-) Harry Mason Reid of the U.S. (1939-2021) David Iglesias of the U.S. Mervyn Patterson of the U.K. Michael Semple of the U.K. Dick Lugar of the U.S. (1932-) Barbara Morgan of the U.S. (1951-) Art Buchwald (1925-2007) Mike Nifong of the U.S. (1950-) Cho Seung-hui (1984-2007) Bilal Abdullah (1980-) Kafeel Ahmed (1979-2007) Martin McGuinness of North Ireland Rotimi Adebari of Ireland (1964-) Barbary Hillary (1931-) Elliot Mintz (1945-) Fred Dalton Thompson of the U.S. (1942-) Mike Huckabee of the U.S. (1955-) Nick Rahall of the U.S. (1949-) Lawrence B. Wilkerson of the U.S. (1945-) Norman Hsu (1951-) Jim Nabors (1930-) Erik D. Prince (1969-) Younis Tsouli (1984-) Sayyed Imam al-Sharif (1950-) Rache Renee Smith (1985-) Riyo Mori of Japan (1986-) Deborah Jeane Palfrey (1956-2008) Randall L. Tobias of the U.S. (1942-) Harlan K. Ullman of the U.S. (1941-) R. Nicholas Burns of the U.S. (1956-) John David Dingell Jr. of the U.S. (1926-) Zalmay Khalilzad of the U.S. (1951-) Polish Gen. Edward Pietrzyk (1949-) Terry Richardson Matthew Murray (1983-2007) Alex Rodriguez (1976-) Mayweather-La Hoya Fight, May 5, 2007 Scott Niedermayer (1973-) Matt Murphy (1985-) Clint Hurdle (1957-) Tony Dungy (1955-) Lovie Smith (1958-) Peyton Manning (1976-) Rex Grossman (1980-) Kevin Harvick (1975-) Dario Franchitti (1973-) John Amaechi (1970-) Tim Hardaway (1966-) Chris Benoit (1967-2007) Viswanathan Anand (1969-) Asafa Powell of Jamaica (1982-) Al Franken of the U.S. (1951-) Norm Coleman of the U.S. (1949-) Erik D. Prince (1969-) James Thomson (1958-) Lisa Genova (1970-) Leonid Hurwicz (1912-2008) John Matteson (1961-) Eric Maskin (1950-) Roger Myerson (1951-) Raila Odinga of Kenya (1945-) Jose Padilla (1970-) Matthew S. Shum Carlos Slim of Mexico (1940-) U.S. Cpl. Kareem Rashad Sultan (1987-2007) Sam Zell (1941-) Celine Lesage (1971-) Ed Brown (1942-) and Elaine Brown (1940-) Efraim Halevy of Israel (1998-2002) Dokka Umarov of Checnya (1964-) Jonah Lehrer (1981-) Alvin F. Poussaint (1934-) Aqsa Parvez (1991-2007) Farfour Michelle Cawthra of the U.S. (1976-) Dinesh d'Souza (1961-) Kenji Nagai (1957-2007) - Sept. 27, 2007 Kenji Nagai (1957-2007) - before Ibrahim Gambari of Nigeria (1944-) Randy Pausch (1960-2008) Michael Bernard Mukasey of the U.S. (1941-) Raymond Walter Kelly of the U.S. (1941-) Elsie McLean (1905-) Andrew Meyer, Sept. 17, 2007 Mohammed Atif Siddique (1985-) Anucha Browne Sanders Isiah Thomas (1961-) James Riley Blake (1979-) Michael Oppenheimer (1946-) Graciela Chichilnisky (1944-) Stefan Rahmstorf (1960-) Jim Salinger (1947-) Jim Wallis (1948-) Tony Campolo (1935-) Ottmar Georg Edenhofer (1961-) Amy Finley (1973-) Albert Arnold Gore Jr. (1948-) Al Gore (1948-) and Rajendra Kumar Pachauri (1940-) Robert Irvine (1965-) Doris Lessing (1919-2013) Peter Grünberg (1939-2018) Albert Fert (1938-) Gerhard Ertl (1936-) Mario Capecchi (1937-) Sir Martin John Evans (1941-) Garrett Lisi (1968-) Oliver Smithies (1925-2017) Leonid Hurwicz (1912-2008) Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) Václav Klaus of Czech. (1941-) Peter S. Onuf (1945-) Amy Palumbo Ann Holmes Redding Patrick Rothfuss (1973-) Peter Schiff (1963-) Robert James Shiller (1946-) Pete Stark of the U.S. (1931-) David Michael Satterfield of the U.S. (1954-) Nassim Nicholas Taleb (1960-) Emmanuel Todd (1951-) Michael Worobey Chief Illiniwek Tina 'Brown (1953-) and Lady Diana (1961-97) Ian Johnson (1985-) and Chrissy Popadics Huma Abedin (1976-) Benno Barnard (1954-) Paul Collier (1949-) Lakshmi (2005-) Gillian Gibbons (1953-) Gerhard Ertl (1936-) James Henry Fetzer (1940-) Christopher Paul Neil (1975-) Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust (1947-) Davis R. Ignatius (1950-) Lin-Manuel Miranda (1980-) Tanya Rider (1974-) Serge Trifkovic (1954-) Matt Haig (1975-) Sara Davidson (1943-) Anne Enright (1962-) Gangaji (1942-) Daniel Walker Howe (1937-) Ed Husain (1975-) Millard Kaufman (1917-2009) Yoani Sanchez (1975-) Brian Selznick (1966-) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (1938-) Diana West (1961-) William Paul Young (1955-) Alexander Wang (1983-) Alexander Wang Example Mika (1983-) Katy Perry (1984-) Apocalyptica The Enemy Paul Potts (1970-) Ant and Dec Colbie Caillat (1985-) Josh Groban (1981-) Iggy, 2007 Amy Macdonald (1987-) Philip Schultz (1945-) Charles Simic (1938-) Jordin Sparks (1989-) The Heavy Timbaland (1971-) The Flobots Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (1959-97) Orianthi Pangaris Tarja Turunen (1977-) Sydney Wayser (1986-) 'The Big Bang Theory', 2007- 'The Great Global Warming Swindle', 2007 'Mad Men', 2007-15 Luke and Noah Gay Kiss, 2007 'Little Mosque on the Prairie', 2007- 'In the Heights', 2007 '1408', 2007 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford', 2007 'Atonement', 2007 'Ghost Rider', 2007 'Gone Baby Gone', 2007 'Grindhouse', 2007 'I Am Legend', 2007 'Meet the Robinsons', 2007 'The Mist', 2007 'My Fuehrer', 2007 'No Country for Old Men', 2007 'The Orphanage', 2007 'Paranormal Activity', 2007 'Ratatouille', 2007 'REC', 2007 'Rise: Blood Hunter', 2007 'The Simpsons Movie', 2007 'Sunshine', 2007 'Transformers', 2007 'Trick 'r Treat', 2007 'La Vie en Rose', 2007 Boeing 787, 2007 'Paris Hilton Autopsy' by Daniel Edwards, 2007 Julie Penrose Fountain, 2007 Dick's Sporting Goods Park, 2007 Prudential Center, 2007 Tunnel of Surprises, Lima, 2007 Askinosie Chocolate, 2007 Chinese Lunar Exploration Program Logo

2007 Time Mag. Person of the Year: Vladimir Putin (1952-). Doomsday Clock: 5 min. to midnight (Jan. 17, 14:30 GMT); 4th forward set since 1991, prompted by nuclear standoffs with Iran and N Korea and warnings of climate change; "Global warming could kill millions. We should have a war on global warming rather than the war on terror" (Stephen W. Hawking, Jan. 17); China's emissions increase 8% this year, causing it to overtake the U.S. as the top producer of greenhouse gases (14% higher), although the U.S. still leads on a per capita basis, 19.4 tons, vs. 11.8 in Russia, 8.6 in the EU, 5.1 in China, and 1.8 in India. Chinese Year: Pig (Feb. 18) (lunar year 4704). This is the first U.N. Internat. Year of Planet Earth (ends 2009). Over half the world's pop. lives in cities; almost all worldwide pop. growth in the next 30 years will be concentrated in cities, growing 1.8% annually (doubling every 38 years); immigrants make up 16% of the U.S. pop. (vs. a high of 21% in 1910 and a low of 5% in 1970), with 25% or more in Calif. (35%), N.Y. (27%), N.J. (26%), and Nev. (25%); Muslim pop. of Europe: 18M (vs. 1M at the end of WWII); the U.S. has 1.2K mosques, up from 1K in 1990; a UNICEF report pub. this year puts the once-tallest U.S. in 20th place for avg. stature, with the Dutch as #1, almost 3 in. taller than Americans, who are still taller than Britains; teen students at the British military academy at Sandhurst are 9 in. taller than those at the British Marine School. As of this year nine countries have nukes: U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel (unacknowledged), India, Pakistan, North Korea; Iran is suspected of pursuing them; Indonesia is suspected of pursuing them in the 1960s after China's 1964 nuclear test; South Africa had them but gave them up in 1991; Egypt is pursuing a nuclear power program; Sweden has been a question mark since the 1950s; Japan has an official anti-nuke policy; more than 30 countries without nukes possess the materials and capabilities to make them using plutonium produced by a total of 435 operating nuclear power reactors worldwide; the U.S. and Russia possess 95% of the 27K known nukes; the original 1980s calculation of nuclear winter conditions only used 100 Hiroshima-sized 15K-ton A-bombs. Early in the year Al-Shabaab (Arab. "The Lads") arises from the ashes of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) that ruled most of S Somalia, setting up horrific Sharia, see the grisly videos if you can stomach it; no surprise, the stupid Islam ignoramus U.S. govt. has been blithely permitting mass Somalian immigration to make the whole country into Black Hawk Down, look what they do to too-white-for-the-U.N. Minneapolis, Minn. (80K and growing), and might do to Ft. Morgan, Colo. (1K), and Shelbyville, Tenn. (1K), so no surprise again that a number of them have returned to join Al Shishkebaab, even white American converts (that's right, Islam isn't a race), incl. Omar Shafik Hammami (Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki) (1984-) of Daphne, Ala., Suleman Essa Ahmed of Columbus, Ohio, and Cabdulaahi Ahmed Farrax (Abdullah Al-Amriki) of Minn., the U.S. govt. never admits to making a mistake, it's their fault. This year ExxonMobil Corp. posts a $40.6B annual profit, a record for a U.S. co. (it held the old record). U.S. household net worth: $64T; by 2009 this is down to $50T (21% drop); U.S. income inequality reaches an all-time high, with the top 0.01% of earners taking home 6% of total U.S. wages, and the top 10% taking in 49.7% of total wages; the Baby Boomers begin retiring, causing an economic slowdown? The Shale Rev. begins, zooming from 5% of U.S. natural gas production this year to 35% by 2012. By this year the exodus of refugees from Iraq reaches 2M, with 50K more per mo. heading away from the insanity. The number of suicide bombings in Pakistan, which since 2001 was only 15, zooms to 358 by Nov. 2013. Illegal immigrants in the U.S. 11.8M (Jan.); just when illegal immigration from Mexico is seen a big problemo in the U.S., the Mexican birthrate drops to 2.2 births avg. (compared to 2.1 for the U.S.), and life expectancy increases to 75 years (77 in the U.S.), causing predictions of a worker shortage? The 2006-7 winter in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) is the coldest since 1941-2. The U.S. prison pop. hits 2.2M, 1 of 133. This year suicide bombers conduct 658 attacks worldwide, incl. 542 in U.S.-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, double last year's total; the first known suicide attack was in 1983 (U.S. Embassy in Beirut), and by the end of this year 1,840 incidents kill more than 21,350 and injure 50K, with 86% of incidents occurring since 2001, and the highest annual numbers in the past four years. This year 36K women are raped in South Africa; one in four South African men interviewed in 2009 admit to committing rape. Divorces in Italy reach 50K, with 81K separations, compared to only 12K divorces in 1980. Total global data storage: 295 exabytes (billion GB); 2 zettabytes (2K exabytes) of data are broadcast (175 newspapers per person per day). This year Calif. (Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein), Wash. (Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray) and Maine (Susan M. Collins, Olympia J. Snowe) have two female U.S. senators each, and the U.S. Senate has 16 total; only 35 of 1,897 U.S. Senators since 1789 have been female, 12 of them appointed and seven of those succeeding deceased hubbies; the first was Rebecca Latimer Feltin in 1922; in 1930 Hattie Caraway was the first to win an election; no women in 1922-31, 1945-7, 1973-8. World glaciers thin an avg. of 29 in., a rate 2x that in the 1980s and 1990s. On Jan. 1 the U.S. pop. is 300,888,812 (2.9M more than in 2006), with one birth every 8 sec. and one death every 11 sec. (Census Bureau). The Jan. 1 issue of Time mag. names "You" as their Person of the Year, with a cover picture of a PC with a mirror for a screen, and the caption, "Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world"; 2006 was the first year when the individual began to upload his own videos en masse and upstage the major media? On Jan. 1 the the 1,070-lb. ball dropped in Times Square to celebrate the new year switches to LED lights from Sylvania. On Jan. 1 USC defeats Michigan by 32-18 to win the 2007 Rose Bowl. On Jan. 1 U.S. Medicare payments for erectile dysfunction are ended; Medicaid payments were ended on Jan. 1, 2006. On Jan. 1 seven U.S. states raise the minimum wage from the federal minimum of $5.15 an hour to as high as $7.50 an hour, while Ind. begins offering a new license plate featuring the U.S. flag and the words "In God We Trust". On Jan. 1 China begins requiring approval from the country's highest court before putting anyone to death; in 2005 Amnesty Internat. estimates they executed at least 1,770 people for offenses as paltry as tax evasion, which is 80% of the world total of 2,148, incl. 60 in the U.S. - stop the cat box, stop the cat box? On Jan. 1 Pres. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush join thousands of mourners paying respects to ex-pres. Gerald R. Ford at the U.S. Capitol. On Jan. 1 crowds of Sunnis protest the hanging of Saddam Hussein, while a mob in Samara breaks the lock of the bomb-damaged Shiite Golden Dome carrying a mock coffin and photos of their hero. On Jan. 1 an Indonesian Adam Air Boeing 737-400 crashes in Polewali on E Sulawesi Island, killing 90 of 102. On Jan. 1 2-term Wall Street corruption-fighting atty.-gen. Dem. Eliot Laurence Spitzer (1959-) is sworn-in as gov. of New York after 12-year Repub. gov. George Pataki declines to seek reelection, and state assembly minority leader John Faso proves a pushover. On Jan. 1 Denver Broncos cornerback (#27) Darrent Williams (b. 1982) (AKA D-Will) is killed in his limo in downtown Denver, Colo. by drive-by shooters in a SUV right after his team loses their final game and is eliminated from the playoffs; the SUV is traced to Brian Hicks, leader of a Denver gang called the Elite Eight, formed in a New Year's Eve, 2002 pact, resulting in over 100 people being arrested in Apr. 2007 in the largest gang-drug sweep in Denver history; on Mar. 11, 2009 Willie Clark is found guilty of the murder. On Jan. 1 Yuki Lin becomes the first baby born in the U.S. in 2007, in New York City's Downtown Hospital; a $25K U.S. Savings bond from Toys "R" Us is withdrawn after they find that her parents are illegal aliens. On Jan. 2 the U.S. declares a nat. day of mourning for Pres. Ford, and an elaborate funeral service is held in Washington, D.C., with Pres. Bush saying "In President Ford the world saw the best of America", and Pres. George H.W. Bush calling him a "Norman Rockwell painting come to life"; on Jan. 3 Ford is laid to rest on the grounds of his pres. museum in Grand Rapids, Mich. On Jan. 3 Iraqi authorities report the arrests of three men suspecting of baiting Saddam Hussein and/or shooting cell phone videos of his hanging, which show him acting courteous and dignified in an obvious attempt at becoming a martyr. On Jan. 3 Md. Dem. minority whip (since 2003) Steny Hamilton Hoyer (1939-) succeeds John Murtha of Penn. as majority leader #26 of the U.S. House (until ?). On Jan. 4 the 110th U.S. Congress convenes, and Armani suit-wearing Nancy Pelosi by a straight party vote of 233-202 becomes the first female U.S. pseudo-pres., er, Speaker of the House, saying that her rise "from the kitchen to Congress" is the culmination of two cents. of struggle for women, and that "today we have broken the marble ceiling"; she arrives on the House floor with all six of her grandchildren; the U.S. pres. succession now is: Cheney, Pelosi, Richard Byrd, Condi Rice (male-female-male-female); an elaborate series of events follows, with Tony Bennett singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" to her and a big delegation from San Francisco, incl. Chamber of Commerce members and mayor Gavin Newson; Harry Mason Reid (1939-2021) (D-Nev.) becomes Senate majority leader (until Jan. 3, 2015); meanwhile on Jan. 4 new U.S. rep. Keith Maurice Ellison (1963-) (D-Minn.), the first African-Am. from Minn. and first Muslim elected to Congress is sworn-in on a 2-vol. Quran (Koran) once owned by Thomas Jefferson (pub. 1764 in London); the 110th Congress has 74 women in the House and 16 in the Senate, 42 blacks in the House and one in the Senate, 27 Hispanics in the House and three in the Senate, seven Asians in the House and two in the Senate, and on Native Am. in the House; the First 100 Hours of the 110th Congress are used by Dems. to railroad legislation on minimum wage, stem cells, medicare, energy et al. On Jan. 4 Fawaz Damra, former imam of the largest mosque in Ohio is arrested by Israeli authorities after being rejected by 72 countries and ending up in his native West Bank; he had been convicted in the U.S. of concealing his ties to terrorist groups. On Jan. 5 Bush's admin. makes quick shuffles: nat. intel. dir. John Negroponte becomes top deputy to secy. of state Condy Rice, while on Feb. 20 retired vice adm. John Michael "Mike" McConnell (1943-) becomes nat. intel. dir. (until ?); Linton Brooks is dismissed as head of the nat. nuclear security admin.; Harriet Miers resigns as White House counsel after six years. On Jan. 5 (eve.) ten bobbies are summoned to protect English Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton (1982-) from paparazzi as they leave a London nightclub; as she turns 25 on Jan. 9, rumors swirl about nuptials, and she is called the "new Lady Di"; she was at William's Dec. 2006 graduation ceremony at Sandhurst Military Academy, and in 2006 was the first romantic non-spousal partner to be invited to spend Xmas with the royal family - looks like a female Dodi Fayed? On Jan. 5 Calif. gov. (since Nov. 17, 2003) Ahnuld is sworn-in for a 2nd term sporting a badly broken right leg from a skiing accident; in Nov. he defeated Dem. challenger Phil Angelides in a landslide; referring to his dismal year of 2005 when his approval rating slid to half, he says that centrist "does not mean weak... It means well-balanced and well-grounded", and talks about his new politics that "looks beyond the old labels, the old ways, the old arguments", seeking a new "creative center" of "post-partisanship"; the 1878 Schwarzenegger family Bible is used. On Jan. 7 Iraqi troops launch a push to oust militias and pacify Baghdad as violence kills 17 across Iraq. On Jan. 7 thousands riot in Dhaka, Bangladesh demanding electoral reforms, and a 19-party alliance halts traffic until Jan. 9 to isolate Dhaka. On Jan. 8 a wildfire in Malibu, Calif. destroys the home of actress Suzanne Somers et al. On Jan. 8 pizzeria mgr. Michael Devlin (1965-) kidnaps 13-y.-o. Ben Ownby in Beaufort, Mo.; on Jan. 12 a tip about his white pickup truck leads to his arrest in suburban St. Louis along with 15-y.-o. Shawn Hornbeck (1991-), whom he kidnapped in 2002; questions are raised about why Hornbeck could have escaped but didn't. On Jan. 9 U.S. AC-130 gunships strafe suspected al-Qaida fighters in S Somalia, killing 5-10, becoming their first military action there since 1994. On Jan. 9 Polish PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski says that the abrupt resignation of new Archbishop Stanislaw Wojciech Wielgus (1939-) and another top Roman Catholic clergyman over ties to Communist-era secret police is a "nat. crisis". On Jan. 9 Pres. Bush drops plans to nominate conservative judges William J. Haynes II, William Myers III, and Terence Boyle to the U.S. appeals courts. On Jan. 9 Denver, Colo.-born Dem. Denver district atty. August William "Bill" Ritter (1956-) becomes Colo. gov. #41 (until Jan. 11, 2011). On Jan. 9 Little Mosque on the Prairie debuts on Canadian CBC-TV for ? episodes (until ?), becoming the first North Am. Muslim family sitcom; set in Mercy, Sask. (pop. 14K). On Jan. 10 Pres. Bush delivers an Address to the Nation, admitting he made a mistake, but not that kind of mistake, only not having enough troops, saying he will add 21.5K new soldiers to Iraq immediately, with 17.5K going to Baghdad and the rest to Anbar Province, raising the troop count to 153.5K, compared to the peak of 159K in Jan. 2005; the U.S. is also committing $1B to rebuild the infrastructure, matched with $10B by the Iraqis; Dem. leaders say they will force lawmakers to vote on his proposal for a troop surge to put them on record; meanwhile Grandma Pelosi announces a smoking ban in the Speaker's Lobby just off the House floor. On Jan. 10 Venezuelan pres. Hugo Chavez begins his 3rd term, saying that Socialism is the only way forward for his country and the world, concluding: "Socialism or death! We shall prevail!" a la Castro. On Jan. 12 Jennifer Lea Strange (1978-) drinks 1.75 gal. of water without urinating in a "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest at KDND Radio of Sacramento, Calif., then dies of water intoxication, causing 10 careless employees to be fired - K-dumber-than-a-doughnut? On Jan. 13 AP reports that Pres. Obama is going to ask Congress for an additional $13B for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, on top of the record $708B Pentagon budget, making him the first pres. whose defense budget exceeds $700B. On Jan. 13 27-y.-o. Rochom P'ngieng (1979-) is found 19 years after disappearing into the jungles of NE Cambodia while herding buffalo; she likes to go naked and speaks no intelligible language. On Jan. 14 a fire in a 64-unit 5-story apt. bldg. (built 1924) in Huntington, W. Va. kills seven, incl. a child. On Jan. 14 U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney says that the Pentagon and CIA are not violating people's rights by examining bank and credit records of people suspected of terrorism or espionage in the U.S. On Jan. 14 Pope Benedict XVI urges immigrants to respect the social values of their new countries and says laws are needed to protect their dignity, and that migrants should be seen as a resource not a problem. On Jan. 14 the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum receives an album containing 116 personal photos from Karl Friedrich Hoecker (1911-2000), adjutant to Auschwitz I Concentration Camp commandant Richard Bauer, taken in May-Dec. 1944, becoming the first insider photos of the German concentration camp, showing happy innocent-looking Nazis having fun off-duty. On Jan. 15 the 64th Golden Globe Awards, broadcast live on NBC-TV go on without the $20K gift packages traditionally given to onstage presenters after the IRS comes down on them; last year's incl. a $2K gym membership, $1.2K diamond pendant, $865 Chopard watch, $475 camera phone, handbags, MP3 players, and gift certificates; the big drama award is presented by crutch-toting Ahnuld to Babel, whose dir. Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu of Mexico jokes "I swear I have my papers in order, governor, I swear"; Jennifer Hudson (7th runner-up on Am. Idol) and Eddie Murphy win for Dreamgirls, which wins best musical, Forest Whitaker wins best actor for The Last King of Scotland, Sacha Baron Cohen wins best actor for Borat, Hellen Mirren wins best dramatic actress for The Queen, Meryl Streep wins best comic actress for The Devil Wears Prada, America Ferrera wins best actress in a TV comedy for Ugly Betty; Martin Scorsese wins best dir. for The Departed; Cars wins the first Globe for animated film; Clint Eastwood's Japanese-language Letters From Iwo Jima wins for best foreign-language film. On Jan. 15 Saddam Hussein's chunky half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti (b. 1951) is executed, the hangman's noose severing his blacked-hood head after he falls through a trap door - nobody asked me about wanting a Diet Pepsi? On Jan. 15 a suicide bomber attacks an office of the Kuristan Dem. Party in Mosul, Iraq, killing five incl. four U.S. soldiers and injuring 28. On Jan. 15 "humanist and Christian of the left" Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado (1963-) becomes pres. of Ecuador (until ?), raising a sword given to him by Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and vowing to work for an "economic revolution" that will put the country's poor ahead of foreign debt payments; in Dec. 2008 he repudiates Ecuador's nat. debt as illegitimate because it was contracted by past military regimes, and takes on creditors in internat. courts. On Jan. 16 (3:45 p.m.) twin car bombs detonate at Al-Mustansiriya U. in Baghdad as students line up for the ride home, killing 65. On Jan. 17 U.S. health officials issue a Report on U.S. Cancer Deaths, showing that they have dropped for the 2nd straight year, from 556,902 to 553,888 in 2004 (3,014 less, or 0.5%); in 2003 they dropped by 369, the first drop since 1930; the largest drop is in colorectal cancers, 1,110 in men and 1,094 in women. On Jan. 17 U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates calls for 2K-3K more GIs for Afghanistan and 21.5K for Iraq; meanwhile Lawrence B. Wilkerson (1945-), chief of staff for U.S. secy. of state Colin Powell tells the BBC that Iran offered to help stabilize Iraq after the U.S. invasion in return for lifting sanctions and helping it fight the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, but that vice-pres. Dick Cheney turned them down, despite warnings that Iran was moving to the far-right, which proved true when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took power. On Jan. 18 the U.S. House wraps up the "Democrats' 100 Hours" in only 87 hours, passing a list of eight key measures, incl. new ethics rules, a raise in the minimum wage, expansion of tax-supported stem cell research, increased homeland security, cheaper Medicare prescription drugs, lower student loan interest rates, requiring tax cuts or new spending on benefit programs to be budgeted by revenue increases elsewhere, and recovering lost oil-gas royalties while rolling back tax breaks. On Jan. 18 U.S. and Iraqi forces arrest Sheik Abdul-Hadi al-Darraji, top aide to Shiite cleric boos Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad. On Jan. 18 Consumer Reports stinks itself up by admitting that an earlier report damning infant car seats for failing federal crash tests was wrong, confusing low speed with high speed crashes. On Jan. 18 former beautician Martha Mata Vasquez (1967-) is sentenced to 15 years in Salinas, Calif. for injecting Mazola brand corn oil into women's buttocks for $1.4K a pop and calling it the "French polymer treatment", causing the Nov. 2005 death of Maria Olivia Castillo (46) of multiple organ failure due to fat blockage. On Jan. 19 China successfully tests an anti-satellite weapon, becoming the 3rd country after the U.S. and Russia to have the capability. On Jan. 19 Armenian "Agos" activist journalist Hrant Dink (b. 1954) (known for criticizing the Turkish govt. for refusing to recognize the Armenian Genocide, and calling for reconciliation) is assassinated in Istanbul, Turkey; on Jan. 23 tens of thousands attend his funeral ceremony in Istanbul; on Jan. 20 17-y.-o. Turkish nationalist (h.s. dropout) Ogun Samast (1990-) is arrested, and confesses; 20 other suspects are arrested, and only Yasin Hayal is convicted of inciting Samast, the court ruling that he acted alone and was not a member of a terrorist org., causing tens of thousands of Turks to protest that it's a coverup. On Jan. 20 a U.S. Black Hawk heli crashes NE of Baghdad, Iraq, killing Colo. native Col. Brian D. Allgood (b. 1960); after three more helis "crash" in two weeks, and an insurgent Web site airs footage giving it away, the U.S. admits on Feb. 4 that they were actually shot down with new anti-aircraft weapons received by Sunni militants. On Jan. 20 Iraqi militants dressed as Iraqi soldiers enter a U.S. military compound in Karbala and kidnap and kill four U.S. soldiers, a 5th one being killed in the firefight; Iranian involvement is suspected, as relation for the arrest of five Iranians by U.S. troops in N Iraq. On Jan. 20 Hillary Clinton announces on her Web web site the formation of a pres. exploratory committee for the 2008 pres. election, with the soundbyte "I'm in, and I'm in to win"; in Apr. the Clintons liquidate the blind trust set up when he became pres. in 1993 to avoid the possibility of ethical conflicts or political embarrassments. On Jan. 22 two car bombs in a C Baghdad market kill 88. On Jan. 22 Iran bars 38 nuclear agency inspectors from entering the country. On Jan. 22 the MSC Napoli cargo ship sinks off Branscome, England, causing cargo containers to reach shore, and bringing out local scavengers, who can legally cart it away if they report it to the govt. On Jan. 23 Pres. Bush gives his 2007 State of the Union Address, starting off by addressing "Madame Speaker" Nancy Pelosi, and remarking that her congressman father would have been proud; he then sticks to his old Iraq policy, saying, "Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq and I ask you to give it a chance to work", then proposing a $7.5K tax deduction for expanded health insurance coverage and a 20% cut in gasoline consumption within a decade by using more ethanol and biofuels; meanwhile new Pelosi sits hovering over his shoulder, and a dozen Congress members in the audience have announced or are considering a run for pres.; the Dem. reply is given by Sen. Jim Webb of Va., a Vietnam vet who switched from the Repub. party last year, who says "Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous wihdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq"; Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman Muhammad Rabaie al-Zawahiri (1951-) of Egypt (a follower of Sayyid Qutb of Egypt, who executed by Gamal Abdel Nasser, while Osama is a follower of 18th cent. Arabian fanatic Mohammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab) mocks Bush's plan to send a "surge" of 21.5K troops, telling him to send "the entire army"; meanwhile New York City 9/11 responding policeman Ceasar Borja (b. 1954) dies 2.5 hours before his son Ceasar Borja Jr. attends the Bush speech with Sen. Hillary Clinton to symbolize the health problems of 9/11 workers. On Jan. 23 a Blackwater Worldwide heli is shot down in C Baghdad in a Sunni neighborhood, killing five civilians aboard. On Jan. 23 Iranian-born Israeli pres. Moshe Katsav (1945-) is accused of raping 10 female employees, one calling him a "pervert" and "serial sex offender", becoming the first Israeli sitting pres. charged with a crime; he is immune from prosecution while in office, but on June 28 he resigns for a plea deal to avoid a possible 20-year prison term later. On Jan. 23 the U.S. sends a 2nd U.S. aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf to warn Iran to back down in its attempts to dominate the region. On Jan. 23 China confirms that it sent men into orbit and launched dozens of satellites to test a new satellite-killing weapon. On Jan. 23 U.S. officials announce the arrest of 750+ illegal immigrants in the past week in the Los Angeles metro area. On Jan. 23 the trial of Plamegate figure Scooty Libby begins before U.S. district judge Reggie B. Walton (1949-); on Jan. 29 former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer contradicts Libby's account that he first learned of Valerie Plame's covert CIA identity on July 10, 2003, testifying that Libby told him about it on July 7, 2003 over lunch - oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive? On Jan. 24 Ford Motor Co. announces that it lost $12.7B in 2006, which comes to $35M a day. On Jan. 24 Dinner: Impossible debuts on Food Network for 83 episodes (until May 24, 2011), hosted by Salisbury, England-born chef Robert P. Irvine (1965-), known for wearing black T-shirts and chef's jackets with the inscription "Sub sole, sub umbra, virens" (Flourishing in both sunshine and shade); too bad, in 2008 "embellishments and inaccuracies" in his resume come to light, causing him to be replaced by Michael Symon for 10 episodes until they change their minds. On Jan. 25 Hezbollah and pro-Lebanese govt. forces clash, leading to riots and paralyzing the govt. On Jan. 25 after televised squabbling, the Iraqi Parliament approves a new security plan giving PM Nouri al-Maliki more authority. On Jan. 27 Israeli Mossad dir. #9 (1998-2002) Efraim Halevy (1934-) tells the Portuguese newspaper Expresso that "We are in the midst of a Third World War" with radical Islam, and predicts that it will take at least 25 years for the West to win. On Jan. 28 Iraqi troops backed by U.S. forces in tanks and helis (so the official version goes) kill at least 250 insurgents hiding in a date palm orchard during a 15-hour battle near the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq; one U.S. heli is shot down, and two U.S. soldiers are killed. On Jan. 28 Saddam Hussein's cousin "Chemical Ali" Hussan al-Majid acknowledges in court that he gave orders to destroy scores of villages during Baghdad's anti-Kurd campaign during the 1980-8 Iran-Iraq War, which killed 100K+ Kurds - way to go? On Jan. 28 conservative Repub. Ark. gov. (since 1996) Michael Dale "Mike" Huckabee (1955-) (a Bible-believing Baptist pastor born in Hope, Ark.) (whose portrait bears a striking resemblance to "Gomer Pyle" actor Jim Nabors (1930-)?) enters the U.S. pres. race - wrong year for Huckleberry Finn even if he picks Jim as his running mate? On Jan. 28 Hillary Clinton makes her first pres. campaign swing through Iowa, giving a speech in Davenport, saying that Pres. Bush has made a mess of Iraq and that it's his responsibility to "extricate" the U.S. from it before he leaves office, and that it would be "the height of irresponsibility" to pass the war along to herself, er, the next pres.; meanwhile rumors surface that her Saudi-raised Muslim head of staff Huma M. Abedin (1976-) is having a lezzie affair with her. On Jan. 28 Sinn Fein members vote overwhelmingly to recognize the authority of the North Ireland pigs, er, police, paving the way for the return of a Catholic-Protestant admin. there to meet a 1988 Good Friday Peace Pact deadline of Mar. 26. On Jan. 28 Prince Charles and Camilla visit Harlem, N.Y. during a weekend tour of the U.S., visiting the Children's Zone's Promise Academy. On Jan. 29 the deputy gov. in Najaf Province, Iraq announces that his intel forces had infiltrated the Shiite Soldiers of Heaven and thwarted a major attack planned for that night, the eve of chest-beating forehead-slashing Ashura, the holiest Shiite celebration; bloodletting is banned in Lebanon and Iran, but that doesn't stop them? On Jan. 29 a Palestine suicide bomber kills three Israelis at a bakery in Eilat, Israel, becoming the first attack inside Israel in 9 mo. On Jan. 30 after the recent disclosures of grossly extravagant pay packages disgust millions of U.S. workers, Pres. Bush makes a surprise visit to the New York Stock Exchange, and gives a speech warning companies to keep a lid on exec pay, saying, "America's corporate boardrooms must step up to their responsibilities. You need to pay attention to the executive compensation packages that you approve. You need to show the world that American businesses are a model of transparency and good corporate governance." On Jan. 31 the 2007 Boston Mooninite Panic in Boston, Mass. sees a guerrilla marketing stunt by the Turner Broadcasting System to advertise the Cartoon Network show Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (about a talking milkshake, box of fries, and meatball) cause Boston authorities to overreact and throw anti-terrorist forces into action at a cost of $750K, pissing them off and causing them to arrest Peter Berdovsky (1979-) and Sean Stevens (1978-) on trumped-up charges, vowing to go after Turner; the stunt involved placing magnetic light packages with pictures of "mooninites" Ignigokt and Err flipping the bird on public property in 10 U.S. cities; the whole thing was openly blogged on the Web, and if the stupid Boston authorities had only checked before calling out the troops?; on Feb. 5 Turner Broadcasting and the ad agency agree to pay $2M in damages; on Feb. 9 James D. "Jim" Samples Jr. (1963-), head of the Cartoon Network (since Aug. 22, 2001) resigns; the film is released on Apr. 13, doing $5.5M box office on a $750K budget. On Jan. 31 British authorities arrest nine men in Birmingham, England for an alleged terrorist plot to torture and behead a British Muslim soldier and broadcast it on the Net. On Jan. 31 Del. Sen. Joe Biden joins the Dem. pres. race, and tells the New York Observer that Barack Obama is "articulate and bright and clean", pissing-off the PC police, who jump on him and try to humiliate him for using a "code word" (clean) that "offends" the sacred cow segment of the U.S.; in the New Millennium U.S., clean is bad? On Jan. 31 actress Veronica Lario (Miriam Raffaella Bartolini) (1956-), wife (1990-2010) of Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi goes public with her anger over his flirtations in public with showgirl Mara Carfagna, making him publicly apologize on his knees. On Jan. 31 Mikhail Gorbachev pub. a Letter to the Wall Street Journal, saying "The goal is to develop a common concept for moving toward a world free of nuclear weapons", advocating dialogue within the framework of the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; on Mar. 2 the Bush admin. tells him to stuff it by announcing the selection of Lawrence Livermore Nat. Lab in Calif. to design the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) to be deployed in all U.S. nuclear warheads in the next few decades, pissing-off atmospheric scientists as well as Cold War figures Gorbachev and Henry Kissinger, after which Congress cuts off funding in 2008, and the Obama admin. orders all work to cease in 2009. In Jan. the U.N. estimates that at least 35K Iraqis have been killed each year since the U.S. Iraq War started in 2003. In Jan. U.S. military experts announce that after the Iraq War ends the U.S. must spend $75B to rebuild the military and $24B to rebuild the Nat. Guard. In Jan. Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai appoints Izzatullah Wasifi as head of his 84-person anti-corruption dept., only to find out that he did four years in a Nevada state prison for selling heroin in the 1980s. In Jan. Allen Jasson is kicked off a Qantas flight to London in Melbourne for wearing a T-shirt with a photo of Pres. Bush and the slogan "World's #1 Terrorist". In Jan. the Algerian militant Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in the Maghreb (N and NW Africa) aligns itself with al-Qaida. In Jan. the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement is formed by a distinguished group of U.S. leaders. In Jan. Tunisian Arab Muslim Abdul Wahab becomes the first Arab to be nominated by the Dept. of the Righteous at Yad Vashem in Israel for saving a WWII Jewish family from the Nazis. On Feb. 1 George Casey, outgoing top U.S. gen. in Iraq tells the press that Pres. Bush has ordered thousands more troops into Iraq than needed to stop violence in Baghdad; he is being confirmed as U.S. Army chief of staff, and being replaced in Iraq by Lt. Gen. David Petraeus. On Feb. 1 a pair of suicide bombers detonate in a crowded outdoor market in Hillah, Iraq, a Shiite city S of Baghdad, killing 45 and wounding 150. On Feb. 1 Dem. San Francisco, Calif. mayor #42 (since Jan. 8, 2004) (youngest in a cent.) Gavin Christopher Newsom (1967-) apologizes for getting caught in a sexual relationship with his appointments secy. Ruby Rippey-Tourk (1972-), wife of his former campaign mgr. Alex Tourk (39) 1.5 years earlier as he was divorcing his wife, Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, the couple once being touted by the press as the "New Kennedys". On Feb. 3 British authorities confirm an outbreak of A(H5N1) bird flu that killed 2.5K turkeys in Lowestoft, E Britain since Feb. 1. On Feb. 3 Iran opens its Isfahan Uranian Conversion Facility to almost 100 reporters and a delegation of froeign ambassadors from the U.N. nuclear agency. On Feb. 4 U.S. Gen. Dan K. McNeill takes command of the 35.5K NATO-led troops in Afghanistan after 9 mo. of British command. On Feb. 4 after days of rain, rivers burst their banks in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 25 and forcing 340K from their homes. On Feb. 4 Super Bowl XLI (41) is held in Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Fla., becoming known as the "Soul Bowl" for being the first in which there are two (any) black head coaches, Tony Dungy (1955-) of the 15-4 Indianapolis Colts, and Lovie Lee Smith (1958-) of the 15-3 Chicago Bears; the first SB appearance for the Colts since their move to Indianapolis in 1984 (384 games), and the 2nd #3 seed to play in the SB (first Carolina in 2004); the two team home stadiums are only 188 mi. apart (a record); the Colts' only SB win came in 1971 in Miami; the Indianapolis Colts, led by QB Peyton Williams Manning (1976-) (#18) defeat the Chicago Bears led by QB Rex Daniel Grossman III (1980-) (#8) by 29-17; Lovie Smith becomes the first African-Am. coach to lose a SB; the score is still 22-17 in the 4th quarter; Snickers runs an ad showing two men accidentally kissing, then validating their heterosexuality by tearing out their chest hair, which pisses-off the gay lobby and causes the ad to be cancelled later; the halftime show features head kerchief-wearing Prince, who performs "Purple Rain" in the rain (first SB to be played entirely in the rain), and gives one of the best SB halftime shows ever, not looking like a has-been like Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones?; too bad, his guitar solo features a silhouette performance projected on a beige sheet, where he appears to sprout a long serpent-like phallus, while his guitar handle appears to become a pitchfork and his kerchief turns into horns? - and he's supposed to be a Jehovah's Witness? On Feb. 5 Pres. Bush sends a $2.9T budget to Congress, and asks for an additional $100B for Iraq and the war on terrorism on top of the $70B already sought, for a grand total of over $500B for the war that Donald Rumsfeld said would cost only $50M. On Feb. 5 U.S. Navy Capt. Lisa Marie Nowak (nee Caputo) (1963-) (an astronaut) is charged with attempted kidnapping after she drives 900 mi. and dons a disguise to confront Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman (1976-), a woman she believed was her rival for the affections of Space Shuttle Navy Cmdr. William Anthony "Bill" Oefelein (1965-), then sprays pepper spray through her car window; after being arrested she is found with a wig, trench coat, BB gun, knife, rubber tubing and pepper spray, becoming the first U.S. astronaut arrested on felony charges; Oefelein leaves NASA on June 1; on Nov. 10, 2009 Nowak pleads guilty, and is discharged from the Navy in Aug. 2010. On Feb. 6 a leaked cockpit video reveals an exchange between two U.S. pilots of the 190th Fighter Squadron (based in Boise, Idaho) who kill British soldier Lance Cpl. Matty Hull (1976-2003) and wound four others in Basra, Iraq on Mar. 28, 2003 after mistaking their bright orange "friendly" markers with rockets; the military had tried to cover it up. On Feb. 8 celeb no-talent Marilyn-wannabe sexpot Anna Nicole Smith (b. 1967) collapses at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., causing mucho publicity (while endless deaths in Iraq are forgotten easily?); no pills are found in her stomach; she had spent the last few days with 105-deg. fever, stomach flu, and an infection in her butt from repeated injections; a land grab begins to get hold of her money, with three men claiming to be the father of her 5-mo.-old daughter Dannielynn, Howard Kevin Stern (1968-) (listed as father on the birth certificate), Larry E. Birkhead (1973-), and Frederic von Anhalt (Robert Lichtenberg) (1943-), husband of 90-y.-o. Zsa-Zsa Gabor; her mother Vergie Arthur blames her death on "too many drugs", and thinks Larry is the real daddy; methadone is found in her fridge in the Bahamas, the same thing her son died from; after a court battle which her mother loses, Anna is buried in the Bahamas instead of Tex., after weird Bronx-born Judge Judy Sheindlin, er, Larry Seidlin (1950-) (former Bronx cab driver) gives control of Danniellynn to an advocate and then cries on the bench on Feb. 22, with Dan Abrams of MSNBC comparing the hearing to a "Seinfeld" episode and others predicting he'll be hosting a reality show; on Mar. 25 autopsy results are announced, indicating she ODed on nine prescription drugs incl. chloral hydrate - the nation where Judge Judy makes $20M a year and the chief justice doesn't even make a lousy $1M, and the drug companies rake in $275B, more than anybody? On Feb. 9 Muslims in Jerusalem riot over Israeli construction efforts to replace a damaged cents.-old ramp in Jerusalem leading to Barclay's Gate near the Western Wall; an attempt to open a tunnel there in 1996 caused riots killing 80; in 2000 Ariel Sharon visited unexpectedly, triggering riots and years of violence. On Feb. 9 U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates claims that serial numbers found on bombs used by Iraqi terrorists prove they were manufactured in Iran. On Feb. 9 N.Y. gov. Eliot Spitzer declares an emergency after more than 7 ft. of snow falls in Oswego County along E Lake Ontario. On Feb. 9 the Ark. House of Reps. votes down by 20-46 a proposal to name Jan. 29 as Thomas Paine Day because of his writings criticizing the Bible, with Little Rock Repub. Sid Rosenbaum (Jewish) adding that they are "anti-Christian and anti-Jewish". On Feb. 10 Barack Obama officially announces his presidential candidacy in front of the Old State Capitol Bldg. in Springfield, Ill. where his hero Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) (born on Feb. 12) gave his House Divided Speech in 1858, running on promises of a rapid end to the Iraq War, universal health care, and increased energy independence. On Feb. 10 Barack Obama officially announces his candidacy for U.S. pres. before a freezing crowd of 15K-20K in Springfield, Ill., home of Abraham Lincoln, incl. protesters against his pro-abortion stance; his political strategist is New York-born Jewish journalist David Axelrod (1955-). On Feb. 10 at a security conference in Germany, Russian pres. Vladimir Putin blames U.S. policy for inciting other countries to seek nukes to defend themselves from an "almost unconstrained use of military force... Unilateral, illegitimate actions have not solved a single problem; they have become a hotbed of further conflicts", causing U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates to reply "Russia is a partner in endeavors", but "One Cold War was quite enough"; on Feb. 20 Bush's nat. security adviser Stephen Hadley departs for a 4-day trip to Brussels, Moscow, and Berlin. On Feb. 11 a Socialist Party-backed abortion referendum in Portugal to legalize abortion up to 10 weeks is approved 59.24%-40.76%, with 43.61% of registered voters voting, which is less than 50%, hence is not legally binding, which doesn't stop Pres. Anibal Cavasco Silva from ratifying it on Apr. 10; future pres. #20 (2016-) Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa leads the opposition. On Feb. 11 the U.S. announces it has fired artillery rounds into Pakistan to strike Taliban fighters, claiming the right to self-defense. On Feb. 11 Australian PM John Howard criticizes U.S. Dem. pres. candidate Barack Obama, saying his plans for Iraq "encourage those who wanted to completely destabilize and destroy Iraq", causing Obama to fire back "It's flattering that one of George W. Bush's allies feels obliged to attack me." On Feb. 11 Turkmenistan holds its first officially contested pres. elections, which are rigged in favor of the hand-picked successor of former pres. Saparmurad A. Niyazov, who died 7 weeks earlier. On Feb. 11 (Sun.) (eve.) the 2007 Grammys are swept by the Dixie Chicks, and features the Police reuniting to perform "Roxanne". On Feb. 12 photos surface of Anna Nicole Smith making out with black Bahamanian immigration minister Shane Gibson, causing a mini-scandal in the Bahamas. On Feb. 12 after a marathon session led by U.S. envoy Christopher Hill, six countries reach a tentative agreement toward North Korean nuclear disarmament, incl. giving them energy assistance. On Feb. 13 18-y.-o. former Bosnian refugee Sulejmen Talovic walks into Trolley Square shopping mall in Salt Lake City, Mo. and opens up with a shotgun, killing five until off-duty cop Kenneth K. Hammond begins a firefight with him until other officers arrive, killing him. On Feb. 13 Cuban comm. minister Ramiro Valdes Menendez (1932-) defends his country's Internet restrictions, saying "The wild colt of new technologies can and must be controlled." On Feb. 13 Lt. Gen. Abboud Gambar, cmdr. of Baghdad security announces that Iraq wil close its borders with Syria and Iran for 72 hours to help end you know what you know where. On Feb. 13 the U.S. House debates a Dem. resolution to "disapprove of the decision of Pres. George W. Bush announced on Jan. 10, 2007 to deploy more than 20,000 additional U.S. combat troops in Iraq"; "No more blank checks", declares Speaker Nancy Pelosi; on Feb. 16 it passes 246-182. On Feb. 14 U.S. health officials announce the first salmonella outbreak associated with peanut butter, warning consumers not to eat Peter Pan or Great Value brands with serial numbers beginning with "2111". On Feb. 14 extreme liberal Dem. Jewish SNL comedian Al Franken (1951-) (known for calling Rush Limbaugh "a big fat idiot") leaves Air America Radio and announces his candidacy for U.S. Sen. from Minn. in 2008; on Nov. 11, 2008 election results have him 206 votes (out of 2.4M votes) behind incumbent (since 2003) Norman Bertram "Norm" Coleman Jr. (1949-), causing an automatic recount to begin. On Feb. 15 the militant Hamas-led Palestinian govt. of PM Ismail Haniya resigns to pave the way for a unity govt. that will incl. Fatah and Palestinian Authority pres. Mahmoud Abbas. In an age of electronic money, the U.S. govt. tries to figure out a way to phase-out paper money by issuing tokens? On Feb. 15 the U.S. Mint in Denver, Colo. releases the gold-colored George Washington Dollar Coin under the U.S. Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, hoping it won't go the way of the Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea dollar coins, while trying to convince a skeptical public to abandon paper dollars, which only last 18-22 mo. compared to 30 years for coins, and they claim would save the U.S. $500M a year if phased out; in Mar. the Denver Mint makes a mistake and puts out a bunch of Washington dollars missing the "In God We Trust" inscription; in May the Pres. John Adams dollar coin is released, followed by the James Madison coin in Nov., followed by all U.S. presidents who have been dead at least two years; Grover Cleveland gets two coins since he served two nonconsecutive terms; in May the gold $10 Martha Washington Coin for collectors is released, costing more than $400. On Feb. 17 a suicide bomber in a courthouse in SW Pakistan kills 15, indl. a judge, and wounds 24. On Feb. 17 50K-80K march in the NE Italian city of Vicenza to protest a planned U.S. military base for the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade. On Feb. 18 the Chinese Year of the Pig begins; New Year's celebrations reveal a resurgence of Buddhism and Taoism, with 31.4% of Chinese 16 years or older now religious (400M); the other officially recognized faiths are Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam. Speaking of pig? On Feb. 18 Britney Spears shocks fans by having her head shaved, adding to her systematic self-trashing behavior of divorcing her hubby Kevin Federline, maltreating her baby in cars, and appearing in public sans panties; she then checks herself into a rehab facility - either signs of a crash or a brilliant self-publicity ploy? On Feb. 19 insurgents stage a bold daylight attack against a U.S. combat post N of Baghdad, striking with a suicide car bomb then firing on soldiers pinned down in a former Iraqi police station, killing two soldiers and wounding 17. On Feb. 20 Iranian pres. Madman What's-His-Name tells a crowd of thousands that Iran will stop its nuclear program if the West does the same. On Feb. 20 the U.S. Court of Appeals rules 2-1 that Guantanamo Bay detaineers can't use the U.S. court system to challenge their indefinite imprisonment, upholding the 2006 U.S. Military Commissions Act, which requires detainees to prove to a 3-officer military panel that they don't pose a terror threat. On Feb. 20 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 5-4 in Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Williams to throw out a $79.5M punitive damage award against Philip Morris USA to a smoker's widow, saying that the due process clause allows it only to be punished for the harm done to the plaintiff, not to all or other smokers; Ginsburg, Scalia, Stevens, and Thomas dissent. On Feb. 20 the Australian govt. announces plans to phase out incandescent light bulbs in favor of fluorescent bulbs by 2012. On Feb. 21 British PM Tony Blair announces a new timetable for withdrawal of British troops in S Iraq, with 1.5K to return home in several weeks, and a total of 3K by the end of 2007; Denmark and Lithuania are also bugging out, leaving Bush's "coalition of the willing" in the lurch. On Feb. 21 Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe celebrates his 83rd birthday in a country whose inflation rate reached 1,593% in Jan., all his fault since he froze wages and prices decades ago; the largest banknote allowed in the country is a 1K denomination, which buys one tomato. On Feb. 21 billionaire entertainment mogul David Lawrence Geffen (1943-) gives an interview with Maureen Down of The New York Times, uttering the soundbyte about Bill and Hillary Clinton: "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it's troubling." On Feb. 22 the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency announces that Iran has ignored the U.N. Security Council ultimatum to freeze uranium enrichment and has instead been expanding its program by setting up hundreds of centrifuges (total 1K), saying that new sanctions will be laid on them. On Feb. 22 South Korean businessman-lobbyist Tongsun Park (Pak Dong-seon) (1935-) is sentenced to five years in prison for taking $2M to work on Iraq's behalf in the U.N. oil-for-food program. On Feb. 22 a New Zealand fisheries official announces that a fishing crew has caught a 39-ft.-long 990 lb. colossal squid in Antarctic waters, which was eating a hooked Patagonian toothfish (sold under the name Chilean sea bass). On Feb. 22 the U.S. military announces the discovery of a car bomb factory in Iraq with propane tanks and chlorine cylinders after three chlorine attacks in Feb. piss them off. On Feb. 22 British officials announce that 22-y.-o. Prince Harry ("2nd Lt. Wales") will fight for his country, setting out in May-June with his regiment for a 6-mo. tour, incl. Iraq, becoming the first British royal to see combat since his uncle Prince Andrew flew as a Royal Navy pilot in the 1982 Falklands War; his daddy Prince Charles also served in the navy, along with his grandfather Prince Philip; Queen Elizabeth II was a driver in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service in WWII; 24-y.-o. Prince William is also in his Blues and Royals regiment, graduated from Sandhurst in Dec., and is set to begin 5 mo. of army training in Mar. On Feb. 24 a suicide truck bomber kills 39 near a Sunni mosque in Habbaniyah, Iraq 50 mi. W of Baghdad after the imam of the mosque spoke out against extremists in a sermon on Feb. 23. On Feb. 24 a 140-lb. jaguar kills female zookeeper Ashlee Pfaff (b. 1979) at the Denver Zoo in Denver, Colo. after a door to his cage is left open. On Feb. 25 a Sunni female suicide bomber in Baghdad uses a charge packed with ball bearings to kill 41 at the Shiite Mustansiriyah U. On Feb. 25 Rev. Al Sharpton announces that he has found out that he's descended from a slave owned by relatives of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, calling it "shocking". On Feb. 25 an AP analysis shows that nearly one in six people in the U.S. receive some form of public assistance. On Feb. 25 Louis Farrakhan caps a 3-day convention of the Nation of Islam with his final major speech, saying that Christ and Muhammad would embrace each other with love if they were on the stage behind him. On Feb. 25 the 79th (2007) Academy Awards, hosted by Ellen Degeneres are held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.; 306 films are eligible for consideration; the Oscars officially go green; the best picture Oscar for 2006 goes to The Departed, along with best dir. to sentimental favorite Martin Scorsese on his 6th try (beating Paul Greengrass' better United 93?); best actor goes to Forest "Idi Amin" Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland, best actress goes to Helen "Liz II" Mirren for The Queen ("Our Leaders. Ourselves.") (10-y.-o. Abigail Breslin, who played Olive Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine is passed over, as is Meryl Streep, who played Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, her 14th nomination, two more than Jack Nicholson and Kate Hepburn), best supporting actor goes to Alan Alda in Little Miss Sunshine (Eddie Murphy, who plays James Brown clone James "Thunder" Early is passed over, perhaps because of his crude toilet-humor world's fattest woman flick Norbit, which comes out just at the wrong time, causing him to storm out of the awards show), and best supporting actress goes to Jennifer Hudson for playing Effie White in Dreamgirls (proving that rejection by Simon Cowell on "American Idol" is the ticket to fame?); Al Gore wins for the global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth (dir. by Davis Guggenheim) ("By far the most terrifying film you will ever see"), which also garners Lezzie Lezzeridge, er, Melissa Etheridge a best song Oscar for I Need to Wake Up; before going to the stage she gives her wife a big kiss, then dedicates the win to her and her four kids (the highlight of the evening?); Gore utters the soundbyte: "People all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue, it's a moral issue"; sound engineer Kevin O'Connell of Apocalypto sets a record with 19 straight Oscar nominations and 0 wins, losing to Dreamgirls; Pilobolus Dance Theatre provides the briefest numbers yet seen, despite one of the longest Oscar ceremonies ever. On Feb. 26 Iraq Shiite vice-pres. Adel Abdul-Mahdi narrowly escapes assassination after a blast in a govt. meeting hall which kills 10 and wounds him. On Feb. 26 the Internat. Court of Justice clears Serbia of genocide against Muslims in the 1995 slaughter of 9K Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, saying that it was an act of genocide but that the govt. wasn't responsible, although it didn't effectively control its Serb forces. On Feb. 26 The Black Donnellys, by "Crash" producers Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco debuts on NBC-TV, based on the Hell's Kitchen Irish mob of the 1960s-1970s called the Westies, and the Black Donnellys family of the 1880s, who get murdered by Protestants then covered-up by the authorities; it gets cancelled after the Apr. 2 show. On Feb. 26 "Titanic" film dir. James Cameron announces that 10 small caskets discovered in 1980 in Talpiot, a suburb of Jerusalem contain the bones of Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, and their wayward child "Judah, son of Jesus", and produces The Lost Tomb of Jesus, dir. by Simcha Jacobovici of Toronto, which debuts on the Discovery Channel on Mar. 4 - he's fallen a long ways since "Titanic"? On Feb. 27 an explosion outside the main U.S. military base in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan kills 23 and wounds 7 during a visit by U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney; al-Qaida leader Abu Laith al-Libi is suspected as the mastermind. On Feb. 27 Georgetown U.-educated Adel A. Al-Jubeir (1962-) becomes the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. (until ?). On Feb. 27 burglars slip into the Paris apt. of Diana Widmaier-Picasso, granddaughter of Pablo Piccaso, and steal two Picassos worth $65M+, "Maya and the Doll" (1938) and "Portrait of Jacqueline" (1961). On Feb. 27 Bob Woodruff's prime-time documentary To Iraq and Back shows he's back from brain damage - now an enemy sleeper robot? On Feb. 27 the NBC-TV show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy debuts on Fox TV for 98 episodes (until Sept. 18, 2009), becoming a hit as millions of Americans celebrate how bad their education is. On Feb. 28 the Dow Jones Industrial Avg. plummets 416 points, causing Federal Reserve Chmn. Ben Bernanke to state that he still expects moderate economic growth, causing it to rebound up by 52 points the next day; he also utters the soundbyte that he does not see a "housing downturn" as a "broad financial concern or a major factor in assessing the state of the economy". On Feb. 28 a car bomb in the mixed neighborhood of Baiyaa, Iraq in W Baghdad kills 10 and wounds 20. On Feb. 28 the New York City council declares the nig, er, n-word off-limits to all races in a symbolic resolution caused by the Michael Richards episode; too bad, it's commonly used in hip-hop music and elsewhere by blacks all the time. In Feb. supermodel Tyra Banks (1973-) is caught by paparazzi in an unflattering pose in a 1-piece swimsuit, causing her to go on her TV show and admit she is 20 lbs. heavier than her Victoria's Secret days (161 lbs., 5'10"), and then wear the same polka dot bikini that first landed her on the mag.'s cover 10 years ago, telling the razzi to kiss her big fat butt; meanwhile the new Rubinesque It Girl Jennifer Hudson appears on the cover of Vogue in a Vera Wang dress, and in Feb. 2007 chunky Beyonce Knowles becomes the first celeb to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue; one bright side, she attends a Feb. 14 bash in West Hollywood to celebrate the issue, and doesn't sample the food, only to find later that it may have contained hepatitis A from an infected cook working for Wolfgang Puck Catering. In Feb. the U. of Ill. retires buckskin-clad basketball mascot Chief Illiniwek after 81 years after pressure from the NCAA, which barred colleges with Am. Indian mascots from hosting postseason events in 2005. On Mar. 3 a large protest against Pres. Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia ends 100+ arrests in Vosstaniya Square on Nevsky Prospekt; chess champ Garry Kasparov speaks to the crowd, and minutes after he leaves the pigs arrest the next speaker, Sergey Gulayev - next time it's pig to rook-you? On Mar. 4 the Clintons and rival Barack Obama go to Selma, Ala. to commemorate the 42nd anniv. of Bloody Sunday (Mar. 7, 1965), marching with the 1965 marchers, causing blacks fits deciding whom to support for pres.; Obama gives a speech, claiming that the 1965 voting rights march gave his parents the idea to have him, making him a child of destiny, despite his birthdate being 1961; "What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation... This young man named Barack Obama... came over to this country. He met this woman... (who) had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided... it might... be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama... So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don't tell me I'm not coming home to Selma, Alabama." On Mar. 4 a minivan crashes into a convoy of U.S. Marines and officials in Barikaw in Nangarhar Province in E Afghanistan, killing 10 and wounding 34 Afghans as the cowboy Americans fire on every civilian car and pedestrian they pass, causing hundreds of Afghans to protest near the blast site. On Mar. 4 Iraqi and British troops storm the office of an Iraq govt. intel agency in Basra, Iraq, discovering about 30 prisoners, some showing signs of torture; meanwhile more than 1K U.S. and Iraqi soldiers move into Sadr City, meeting no resistance; meanwhile the U.S. Senate is busy rewriting the measure that allowed Pres. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003 to limit the mission to counterterrorism efforts. On Mar. 4 a U.S. Marines special ops unit loses it and opens fire into a crowd near Jallalabad, Afghanistan, killing 19 Afghans and wounding 50 after a suicide bomber rams their convoy; on May 8 U.S. Army brigade cmdr. Col. John Nicholson publicly apologizes and pays $2K compensation to each family, calling it a "terrible, terrible mistake"; on Jan. 8, 2008 Marine Sgt. Nathanial Travers testifies that the Marines fired into civilian traffic even though they saw no evidence that they convoy was fired upon first. On Mar. 4 Bruce S. Gordon announces his resignation as CEO of the NAACP after just 19 mo. Welcome to the Martha Stewart club not? On Mar. 6 Lewis "Scooter" Libby is found guilty of four felony counts of felony lying and obstruction of an investigation, based mainly on the testimony of NBC-TV "Meet the Press" journalist Tim Russert, putting a cloud over his ex-boss vice-pres. Dick Cheney, who says he is "very disappointed with the verdict"; Libby becomes the highest-ranking White House official to be convicted of a felony since the 1980s Iran-Contra Affair; a handwritten note by Cheney introduced into evidence hints that he believed Libby was being sacrified to protect other White House officials; Pres. Bush says he respects the decision, but "was saddened for Scooter Libby and his family"; juror #9 Denis Collins (a journalist) says that there was a "tremendous amount of sympathy" for him and he was probably a fall guy, but was clearly guilty of the charges; on June 5 he is sentenced to 30 mo. in prison; on July 2 at 5:25 p.m., after much speculation and snide comparisons to Clinton, Bush commutes his prison sentence, but keeps him on 2-year probation and makes him pay the $250K fine. On Mar. 6 a 6.3 earthquake kills 52 on the W coast of Sumatra centered near Padang. On Mar. 6 an Garuda Indonesia jetliner bursts into flames as it lands on Java, killing 49 of 140; pres. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono orders an investigation into possible sabotage. On Mar. 6 Pres. Bush names a bipartisan panel to investigation problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, incl. excessive red tape and dilapidated living conditions. On Mar. 6 NATO launches Operation Achilles, its largest offensive yet against insurgents in S Afghanistan, centered in Helmand Province, sending 4.5K NATO and 1K Afghan nat. army troops, with 1.5K U.S. troops expected to eventually join. On Mar. 6 Eric Johnson slams his private plane carrying his 8-y.-o. daughter Emily into the house of his ex-mother-in-law Vivian Pace in Bedford, Ind. after telling ex-wife Beth "I've got her, and you're not going to get her". On Mar. 7 Ed Nabors of N Ga. wins one-third of the $390M Powerball Lottery, telling reporters that he soiled himself when he learned the news. On Mar. 7 a fire in a dilapidated row house near Yankee Stadium in New York City kills nine children and a woman, all immigrants from Mali; the incident later reveals the nasty little secret some African immigrants have of continuing to practicing polygamy. On Mar. 8 the U.S. Congress passes a plan calling for troop pullouts from Iraq beginning in Sept. and completed by next Mar. On Mar. 8 Pres. Bush begins a weeklong trip in Latin Am. to offset the influence of Hugo Chavez and other leftist leaders, being greeted in Sao Paulo by 6K protesters. On Mar. 8 Newt Gingrich admits to having had an extramarital affair while leading the charge to impeach Pres. Clinton for, er, explaining that Clinton "got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge", and "You cannot accept... perjury in your highest officials." On Mar. 9 former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappears on a trip to the Iranian island of Kish; he is located on ?. On Mar. 9 China draws attention to U.S. abuses of human rights in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, saying it has no standing to criticize its abuses. On Mar. 10 Iran and Syria join the five permanent U.N. Security Council members U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China in a regional security conference in Baghdad. On Mar. 11 the U.S. switches to an earlier Daylight Savings Time to save energy, causing a mini-Y2K type bug in software. On Mar. 14 Chiquita Brands Internat. agrees to pay a $25M fine to the U.S. govt. after admitting to paying a Colombian terrorist group for protection. On Mar. 14 Southern Baptist leader Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr. gets jumped on by the PC police for admitting that homosexuality is biologically based, but that it's still sinful and should be corrected in utero, with Harry Knox of the Human Rights Campaign gay group uttering the soundbyte "He's willing to play God." On Mar. 15 the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approves by 36-28 a troop withdrawal deadline of Sept. 1, 2008, brushing aside a veto threat from the admin.; meanwhile Dem. legislation in the Senate fails. On Mar. 15 a roadside bomb in Shiite E Baghdad kills four U.S. soldiers and wounds two; a high tech bomb is found at the site, causing the U.S. military to blame Iran. On Mar. 15 U.S.-led coalition forces mistakenly kill five Afghan police manning a checkpoint in Helmand Province. On Mar. 16 al-Qaida in Iraq blows up a suicide truck bomb packed with chlorine gas in Albu Aifan, Afghanistan, pissing-off the local pop., becoming a turning point in the Third Battle of Fallujah. On Mar. 17 a Russian airplane crashes in Samara on the Volga River, killing seven and injuring 20 of 57 aboard. On Mar. 17 a suicide bomber rams his vehicle into a Canadian military convoy in S Afghanistan, killing a child and wounding four, incl. a NATO soldier; meanwhile, a martar attack in NATO's largest base in S Afghanistan wounds three soldiers. On Mar. 17-18 protests throughout the U.S. against the Iraq War bring out the loonies and the hip on both sides. On Mar. 18 (Sun.) U.S. authorities announce that Sunni insurgents killed six U.S. troops in Iraq over the weekend, and a 7th dies from non-combat injuries. On Mar. 19 the U.S. Justice Dept. releases 3K pages of e-mails with new details about the Dec. 2006 firing of eight federal prosecutors, increasing the bipartisan support for the removal of U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, who had claimed he was not involved in the firings then says he was intimately involved; the firing of New Mexico U.S. atty. David Claudio Iglesias (1958-) for allegedly not prosecuting "voter fraud", i.e., voting by Hispanic illegals comes under its own fire; on Mar. 23 Gonzales' top aide Monica Marie Goodling (1973-) tells Congress she's taking the Fifth Amendment and not testifying on the issue, then abruptly quits on Apr. 6; on Mar. 29 his chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee that "I don't think the attorney general's statement that he was not involved in any discussions of U.S. attorney removals was accurate", then takes the blame for firing Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the U.S. atty. in Chicago who prosecuted Scooter Libby; after his support among Repub. senators erodes, he testifies before the SJC on Apr. 17; after a long 6-mo. thud, he resigns on Aug. 27. On Mar. 19 a methane gas explosion in the Ulyanovskaya Mine in Kuzbass, S Siberia, Russia kills 110. On Mar. 19 a car bomb explodes next to a U.S. Embassy convoy on a busy road in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing a bystander and wounding five security guards. On Mar. 19 a Sunni bombs a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, Iraq, killing eight. On Mar. 19 a poll by ABC News et al. shows that the optimism among Iraqis throughout the war has dissolved, with only 18% having confidence in coalition troops. On Mar. 19 officials announce the seizure of a boat carrying 21.4 tons of cocaine by Panamanian police, one of the biggest maritime busts ever. On Mar. 19 Randy Haugen of Ogden, Utah and three other Amway distributors are ordered to pay Procter & Gamble more than $19M for spreading rumors on the Amway electronic voice-mail system that they are Satan worshipers. On Mar. 20 a fire in a home for the elderly and disabled in Yeisk, Krasnodar, Russia kills 63 and injures 22, becoming yet another aging Soviet-era fire trap to burn in recent years, and the 3rd major disaster in Russia in a week. On Mar. 20 former Iraq vice-pres. Taha Yassin Ramadan (1938-) is hanged before dawn, becoming the 4th man executed for the 1982 Dujail massacre. On Mar. 21 Al Gore appears before Congress with a boxes full of petitions to take action on global warming, becoming his first appearance on Capitol Hill since Jan. 2001. On Mar. 21 the new Twitter account of The New York Times tweets the famous tweet: "Word up!" It is I, the Gray Lady, with a 'shoutout' to all my hip young friends." The insurgents begin penetrating the holy Green Zone? On Mar. 22 a Katyusha rocket fired from a Shiite area of the E bank of the Tigris River hits near the office of PM Nouri al-Maliki, 50 yards from visiting U.N. Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon in Baghdad's Green Zone, causing him to duck just minutes after al-Maliki said that the city is "on the road to stability"; meanwhile the U.S. military announces the capture of Qais al-Khazaali and his brother Laith al-Khazaali, who they claim are behind a Jan. sneak attack that killed five U.S. soldiers in Karbala. On Mar. 22 Dem. pres. candidate John Edwards announces that his wife Elizabeth's breast cancer is back, and that it is incurable but manageable, like diabetes. On Mar. 22 Japanese real estate mogul Genshiro Kawamoto opens up eight of his 22 multi-million-dollar homes on Honolulu's Kahala Ave. to low income native Hawaiian families, letting them live rent-free for up to 10 years. On Mar. 22 S.C. bans gay marriage, ratifying a 2006 constitutional amendment, making them one of seven such states, with an 8th, Ariz., defeating a proposed ban. On Mar. 22 a pro-Obama YouTube ad equating Hillary Clinton with Big Brother is revealed to be the work of Philip de Vellis (1973-) of Blue State Digital in Wash. state, which advises Dem. groups and candidates and helped design Barack Obama's Web site, embarrassing him. On Mar. 23 the U.S. House by 218-212 votes to set a date of Aug. 31, 2008 to pull troops out of Iraq; Pres. Bush dismisses it as "political theater" and says he will veto it. On Mar. 23 (10:30 a.m.) Iran's Rev. Guards capture 15 British sailors and marines from the frigate HMS Cornwall at gunpoint in Iraqi waters the Persian Gulf near the Shatt al-Arab waterway, claiming they were in Iranian waters, causing a British protest; meanwhile the Iranians force the Brits to apologize on TV for being in Iranian waters; on Apr. 4 they are released suddenly Pres. Ahmadinejad, who awards medals to his own men. On Mar. 23 an "inside job" suicide bomber detonates among worshippers at the home of Iraqi deputy PM Salam Al-Zubaie, seriously wounding him and killing nine. On Mar. 24 Japanese PM Shinzo Abe criticizes proposed U.S. Congressional House Resolution 121, asking Japan to apologize for its treatment of "comfort women" in WWII, saying that they were not serial rape victims but mere prostitutes; it passes on July 30. On Mar. 24 the U.N. Security Council votes to impose more sanctions on madass Iran for continuing with uranium enrichment after Pres. Ahmadinejad cancels a trip to address them. On Mar. 24 terrorists in Somalia use a portable heat-seeking missile to shoot down a plane carrying humanitarian cargo, killing 11, causing the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security to commission Project Chloe to create unmanned aerial vehicles that can hover around airports and zap the missiles' infrared sensors with a laser; an earlier attempt to put lasers on airliners was scrapped after the airlines refused to pay the $1M-per-plane costs, even though the terrorists can buy their missiles for $10K a pop, and if they score a hit on a fully-loaded airliner it can cost them and their country billions - pay my price or pay the Devil's price, maybe they'll change their minds later? On Mar. 25 roadside bombs kill five U.S. soldiers in Iraq, incl. four in a single strike in Diyala (NE of Baghdad); two Iraqi soldiers die in a bombing at an Iraqi army checkpoint in Baqouba, and 29 more are killed or are found dead; meanwhile Barack Obama says that the war is diminishing America's standing in the world and diverting millions that should be spent at home - er, if the tax outlays are approved for the different purposes first? On Mar. 26 after the IRA drops its goal of ousting Northern Ireland from the U.S. by force, leaders of North Ireland's major Protestant and Roman Catholic parties announce a stunning deal to forge a coalition within 6 weeks, becoming the first time that "Not an inch" "Dr. No" Protestant evangelist Rev. Ian Paisley and his Dem. Unionists and Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams agree to direct negotiations; Britain promises to pass emergency legislation extending its deadline to May 8 for a working power-sharing govt., when the North Ireland Assembly elects a 12-member admin., with Paisley as first minister and former IRA terrorist (high school dropout) Martin McGuinness (1950-) of Sinn Feinn as deputy first minister; the Protestant orange and Catholic green conflict has claimed 3.6K lives since the 1960s. On Mar. 26 the first YouTube Video Awards picks seven videos, incl. the Ask a Ninja series by Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, and OK Go's Treadmill-Choreographic Music Video; Terra Naomi wins best music video for Say It's Possible. On Mar. 27 a rocket attack in the Green Zone in Baghdad kills a U.S. soldier and a U.S. contractor. On Mar. 27 the U.S. Navy stages its largest show of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 Iraq invasion as a message to the pesky Iranians. On Mar. 27 the Dem.-controlled Senate votes 50-48 to incl. a non-binding amendment to an Iraq spending bill calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by next Mar. On Mar. 28 San Francisco, Calif. outlaws plastic garbage bags, and begins pushing biodegradable BioBags. On Mar. 28 (7:57 p.m.) a tornado catches the E Colo. plains town of Holly, Colo. by surprise, destroying five homes and killing Rosemary Rosales (b. 1978), who is pulled from her kitchen into a tree while her husband Gus clutches daughter Noelia; meanwhile another 64 tornadoes hit five Am. Great Plains states. On Mar. 29 the U.S. Senate approves the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by Sept. 1, 2008 by a 51-47 vote, becoming the first time it stands up to the Bush admin. on the Iraq war; Repubs. Chuck Hagel of Neb. and Gordon Smith of Ore. vote with the Dems., and Joseph Lieberman of Conn. votes with the Repubs.; meanwhile more than 120 are killed in Iraq in five suicide bombings, mainly by Sunnis in Shiite neighborhoods, and 140+ are killed in the once-touted success story city of Tal Afar as a Shiite payback; the day's highlight occurs in the Shaab neighborhood of E Baghdad, where a man detonates in a crowded street market just after sundown, killing 60, mostly women and children. On Mar. 29 the U.N. Security Council expresses "grave concern" over Iran's seizure of 15 British sailors and marines, and rejects Britain's call for a stronger statement; meanwhile Iran reneges on its promise to release the sole woman, Faye Turney. On Mar. 30 oil prices hit $65.87 a barrel. On Mar. 30 a wildfire burns in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles behind the famous Hollywood sign. In Mar. Barbara Walters interviews Hugo Chavez, who portrays himself as a man with love in his heart who is no enemy of the U.S., just capitalism and imperialism. In Mar. the $30M Grand Canyon Sidewalk over a 4K-ft. chasm in the Grand Canyon in the Hualapai Indian Rez in Ariz. opens. In Mar. a rash of deaths from eating pet food in the U.S. traced to Menu Foods "cuts and gravy" style is traced to rat poison in wheat gluten from China, but scientists later switch to melamine, a chemical from coal used to make plastics, which China had been putting into animal feed as a fake protein; 60M pet food containers of 100 brands are recalled, and 14K pets are reported sick; on Apr. 26 the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture orders 6K hogs quarantined or slaughtered after melamine is found in hog feed; on Apr. 26 China accedes to demands and bans it. In Mar. the attys. for 440 phen-fen victims who won $200M from Am. Home Products Corp. in 2001 are investigated by a grand jury for defrauding their clients, paying them only $74M of the $135M promised, then threatening them with retaliation if they tell how much they have been paid. In Mar. France becomes the first country to put its entire CNES Space Agency UFO Archives online, with the oldest sighting dating to 1937, and a total of 1,650 cases and 6K witnesses accounts. In Mar. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe stars as the troubled stable boy in a London production of Peter's Shaffer's Equus, appearing nude and smoking a cigarette, claiming "rite of passage". In Mar. Turkey bans Youtube.com for criticizing their secular saint Kemal Ataturk. On Apr. 1 U.S. Sen. John McCain visits Shorja Market in Baghdad accompanied by 100 soldiers in armored Humvees along with attack helis, then later brags that it was "like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime"; meanwhile at least two dozen are killed in Iraq the same day, incl. four U.S. soldiers; Shorja, the city's oldest and largest market, has been bombed at least 6x since last summer; meanwhile McCain reports raising $12.5M in the first 3 mo. of 2007, compared to $14M for John Edwards, $15M for Rudy Giuliani, $23M for Mitt Romney, $25M for Barack Obama, and $26M for Hillary Clinton. On Apr. 1 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Israel, followed by Beirut on Apr. 2, and is criticized by the Bush adm. for planning to visit Syria, while three Repub. reps. visit it the day before and are not so loudly criticized; on Apr. 5 she tells Syria that Israel will engage in peace talks only if it stops supporting Palestinian militants. On Apr. 2 (7:39 a.m.) an 8.0 earthquake followed by a tsunami devastates the W side of the 200-island Solomon Islands (pop. 500K), killing 22, destroying 916 homes and displacing 5,409; 25 mi. from the epicenter, a 10-ft. wave devastates the shanty town of Gizo (2nd largest), killing three; the town is 15 min. from the island where Lt. JFK and his crew holed up after their PT-109 accident. On Apr. 2 the U.S. and South Korea conclude a free trade agreement, the biggest for the U.S. since the 1992 NAFA agreement; meanwhile on Apr. 1 the hilltop hotel where delegates are meeting is rocked by 1K protesters, with one man setting himself on fire. On Apr. 2 illegal immigration foe U.S. Rep. (R-Colo.) Tom Tancredo (1945-) announces his candidacy for U.S. pres., going on to sell campaign buttons that say "Deport Pedro"; after his 1-note campaign falters, he gives up on Dec. 20. On Apr. 2 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 5-4 in Mass. vs. EPA (the Endangerment Finding) to rebuke the Bush admin. for inaction on global warming, declaring that CO2 and other greenhouse gases are air pollutants under the 1963 U.S. Clean Air Act, and that the EPA has the authority to regulate those emissions from new cars and trucks, pissing-off climate skeptics, who begin lobbying to overturn it. On Apr. 2 a suicide truck bomber kills 15 in a Kurdish neighborhood of Kirkuk, Iraq, incl. a newborn girl and a U.S. soldier, and wounds nearly 200. On Apr. 2 (9:37:30 p.m.) amateur photographer Grzegorz Lukasik takes the Bonfire Pope John Paul II Photo, appearing to be the pope bending in a gesture of blessing. On Apr. 2 Am. Jewish billionaire Sam Zell (1941-) buys the Tribune Co., incl. the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, promising to sell the Chicago Cubs; after he institutes stringent financial controls, the Washington Post disses him in June 2008, calling him "The L.A. Times' Human Wrecking Ball", "well on his way to... destroying the L.A. Times", equating him to 1910 L.A. Times bomber James McNamara and concluding "Life in San Quentin sounds about right" for him. On Apr. 3 the French 25K-hp bullet train V150 sets a rail speed record of 357.2 mph near the village of Le Chemin, breaking the 1990 record of 320.2 mph also set by a French train. On Apr. 4 in defiance of Pres. Bush, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leads a delegation to Damascus, Syria, where she meets with Bashar al-Assad, uttering the soundbyte: "We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace." On Apr. 4 irreverent radio host John Donald "Don" Imus (1940-) describes the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos", causing a firestorm by PC police; despite being put through an inquisition on Apr. 9 by Rev. Al Sharpton and apologizing to the team (apology accepted), CBS Radio fires him on Apr. 13 (Fri.), causing him to sue them for $40M, citing his contract that acknowledges that his services are expected to be "controversial"; meanwhile other groups cite black rappers for using the words Imus used in multi-million selling albums, raising the specter of double standards again; on Dec. 3 he returns to the airwaves on WABC-AM in New York City, properly contrite about daring to be non-PC? On Apr. 5 the N.C. Senate apologizes for past promotion of slavery and Jim Crow laws, following Va.'s lead. On Apr. 5 the St. Petersburg Declaration is issued by the Inst. for the Secularization of Islamic Society, calling on all world govts. to reject Sharia and other retro Muslim practices incl. suppression of women. On Apr. 6 Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai announces for the first time that he has held meetings with Taliban members, but rules out talks with their leader Mullah Muhammed Omar (1959-). On Apr. 6 Disney Parks and Resorts announces that same-sex couples may exchange vows in front of Cinderella's Castle. On Apr. 6 an al-Qaida suicide bomber smashes a truck loaded with TNT and chlorine gas into a police checkpoint in Ramadi, Iraq, killing 27. On Apr. 11 the Algerian al-Qaida group AQIM stages twin suicide attacks, one against the office of the PM in Algiers, the 2nd against a police station near the internat. airport, killing 33 and wounding 150+; on Sept. 6 they bomb a crowd waiting to greet Algerian pres. Abdel Aziz Bouteflika in Batna, killing 22 and injuring 100+; on Sept. 8 the attack the naval barracks in Dellys, killing 30; on Dec. 11 they finish the year by attacking the HQ of the U.N. refugee agency in Algiers, killing 47 incl. 17 U.N. employess. On Apr. 12 N.J. Gov. John Corzine is critically injured in a speeding SUV doing 91 mph in a 65 mph zone with its emergency lights on, fracturing his left thigh and breaking 11 ribs and other bones; after being released from the hospital on Apr. 30 he apologizes for his "poor example" by not wearing a seat belt, and heads to the gov.'s mansion in Drumthwacket in Princeton for rehab. On Apr. 12 (6:54 p.m.) a suicide bomber hits the Iraqi Parliament Cafeteria in the Green Zone in Baghdad, killing a lawmaker. On Apr. 15 six blasts rock Baghdad, killing 45, showing the Iraq govt. up, and causing cabinet members who are followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadra to announce their resignation. On Apr. 15 Monsignor Antonio Franco, Vatican ambassador to Israel attends a Holocaust memorial service in Jerusalem, reversing his earlier decision to boycott it for a caption at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum saying, "Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican, the pope [Pius XII] did not protest", and goes on to criticize his "silence and absence of guidelines." An eerie reverse restaging of Pickett's Charge and Columbine H.S. put together? Four days too early proves he needs to study more history? On Apr. 16 (7:15 a.m.) the Va. Tech Massacre sees loner South Korean lousy student English senior Cho Seung-hui (b. 1984) (in the U.S. since 1992) stage the deadliest shooting in U.S. history (until ?) at the Blacksburg, Va. campus of Virginia Tech, killing two at West Ambler Johnston Hall at 7:15 a.m., followed by 30 more plus himself in Norris Hall at 9:15 a.m., and wounding 17; he lamely attempts to conceal his identity, half-filing away serial numbers on his $571 (incl. 50 rounds of ammo) Glock 19 9mm semiauto and $250 Walther P22 .22 handgun (both with 33 cap. magazines) and shooting himself in the face, but leaves a typed 8-page note ranting against rich kids, debauchery, and deceitful charlatans, with the soundbyte "You caused me to do this"; Prof. Carolyn Rude reveals that plays he wrote for her class, incl. Richard McBeef were so violent and twisted that she referred him to a univ. counseling service; "Ismail Ax" in red ink was found on one of his arms; he signed into class with the name "?" (Question Mark); between Ambler and Norris he mails an elaborate videotape package to NBC in New York City which praises the Columbine H.S. shooters; the incident is seized on by gun control advocates, all bringing up the factoid that Britain had 46 homicides in 2006 vs. 590 in New York City alone, and that the death rate from firearms in the U.S. is 46 per million vs. 0.9 in Britain, although it's 146 in South Africa and 213 in Brazil; after the NRA caves, the U.S. House passes a new gun control bill on June 13 to fix flaws in the nat. gun background check system that allowed him to buy guns despite known mental health problems, requiring reporting of flagged nuts like him to the FBI's Nat. Instant Criminal Background System (NCIS), the first major U.S. gun law in more than a decade. On Apr. 16 Jason Benjamin Reynolds (1962-) becomes the first person in Colo. history to be convicted of 1st degree murder resulting from road rage, receiving two consecutive life sentences, then blaming it on "media whores" who downplay the fact that he was also in the accident that he caused by acting like a bull on wheels. On Apr. 16 photos of 57-y.-o. U.S. "white knight" actor Richard Gere sweeping Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty (1975-) into his arms and kissing her several times during an HIV-AIDS awareness event in New Delhi causes outraged prude crowds to appear in several Indian cities and burn effigies of him; judge Dinesh Gupta of Jaipur issues warrants for their arrest, causing the country to become a laughingstock and the judge to be transferred - the future of sex is overcrowding and a prudish public atmosphere? On Apr. 18 the U.S. Supreme Court votes 5-4 in ? v. ? (Alito being the deciding vote) to uphold the federal ban on second trimester partial birth (skull crusher) abortions, becoming the first time that the mother's health doesn't serve as a trump card, pissing-off the women's libbers bigtime, although 90% of abortions take place in the first trimester - they should make the mommies crush the baby's skulls themselves? On Apr. 18 Sunni insurgents stage four bomb attacks in Baghdad, killing 183, becoming the bloodiest day since the 30K U.S. troop surge 9 weeks earlier; the net result is to turn Baghdad from a Sunni to a Shiite city? On Apr. 18 Israel's Mossad briefs the White House about North Korea's secret construction of a nuclear reactor in Syria, expressing their desire to destroy it; after the NSC becomes divided, U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates brings up Pres. Reagan's condemnation of Israel's June 7, 1981 bomb of the Osirak reactor in Iraq, and utters the soundbyte: "I am aware f no precedent for American surprise attacks against a sovereign state. We don't do Pearl Harbors." On Apr. 19 Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi (1938-) becomes pres. of Muritania (until Aug. 6, 2008). On Apr. 21 (3rd Sat.) the first Record Store Day is held to celebrate independently owned record stores; rock star Prince is seen shopping at Electric Fetus in Minneapolis, Minn. on Record Store Day (Apr. 16), 2016 five days before his death. On Apr. 22 the 37th Earth Day is celebrated by 175 countries, with global warming getting top billing. On Apr. 22 gunmen shoot and kill 23 members in Baghdad of the ancient Kurdish Yazidi sect, which worships an angelic figure that Christians and Muslims consider to be the Devil. On Apr. 22 a suicide bomber kills six and wounds 40 civilians in the E Afghanistan city of Khost, Afghanistan. On Apr. 22 Hamas calls for renewed attacks against Israel after its troops kill nine Palestinians in weekend fighting; meanwhile the expected revolt of the pop. of Gaza against them fails to materialize, and instead the pop. becomes more religious, with new veils and beards popping up daily, and the Internet filtered to keep out secular crap. On Apr. 23 Boris Yeltsin (b. 1931) dies; over 25K mourners file by him as he lies in state at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. Show us you're our star? On Apr. 23 Dem. leaders agree to pass legislation requiring the first U.S. combat troops to pull out of Iraq by Oct. 1, with a goal of a complete pullout within 6 mo. (Apr. 1, 2008); if Pres. Bush can't certify that the Iraq govt. is making progress, troop withdrawal will be moved up to July 1; after the pullout Pres. Bush will be allowed to keep some troops in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel, train Iraqi security forces, and fight terrorists; Bush is given the bill to sign on May 1, the 4th anniv. of his "Mission Accomplished" speech, and he vetoes it (his 2nd veto, compared to 37 for Clinton, 44 for his daddy GHW Bush, 78 for Reagan, 31 for Carter, 66 for Ford, 43 for Nixon, 30 for LBJ, 21 for JFK, 181 for Ike, 250 for Truman, and 635 for FDR), publicly denouncing it is "a prescription for chaos and confusion... we must not impose... on our troops", and that "it makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing", causing Sen. majority leader Harry Reid to reply "The president may be content with keeping our troops mired in the middle of an open-ended civil war, but we're not and neither are most Americans", and Nancy Pelosi to add "The president wants a blank check; the Congress is not going to give to give it to him." On Apr. 23 Iraqis protest in Baghdad over a U.S. plan to erect walls between warring neighborhoods, and PM Maliki promises he will stop their construction. On Apr. 23 a suicide car bombers kills nine U.S. soldiers and wounds 20 in an attack on Task Force Lightning soldiers in Diyala Province, Iraq. On Apr. 23 278 women and 12 men are arrested in major cities by Iranian police for improper and/or immodest dress, incl. letting too much hair peek out from under their veils; another 3,548 women are given "warnings and Islamic guidance". On Apr. 23 (guess whose birthday?) the conservative Am. Council of Trustees and Alumni in Washington, D.C. releases The Vanishing Shakespeare, a report complaining about fewer U.S. colleges requiring English students to study Shakespeare, which says "A degree in English without Shakespeare is like an M.D. without a course in anatomy. It is tantamount to fraud" - critics mumble something about white men suck? On Apr. 24 two dump trucks smash into an outpost in the Sunni town of Sadah, Iraq in Diyala Province, defended by U.S. 82nd Airborne Div. paratroopers, killing nine and injuring 20; al-Qaida claims the use of one truck to smash through barriers and a second to ram and drag it before exploding is a "new method" to kill GIs. On Apr. 24 the U.S. Coast Guard seizes 20 tons of cocaine in three ships off the coast of Central Am., becoming their largest single sea-based seizure. On Apr. 24 Muslims murder three Christians in Malatya, Turkey, slitting their throats in their Bible pub. house; on Mar. 21, 2011 Turkey arrests 20 people linked to the murders, claiming they're part of the seret Ergenekon network. On Apr. 24 Kevin Tillman (younger brother of Pat Tillman) and Jessica Lynch testify before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Govt. Reform that the military and admin. created a false hero story about Pat and Jessica to push the Iraq War, and covered up the real facts that the first was killed by friendly fire and the second didn't go down firing at the enemy, and wasn't a "Rambo from West Virginia", and had no bullet wounds, but that her roomate Lori Piestewa, who died in the ambush is a real hero. On Apr. 24 in Mexico City lawmakers vote 46-19 to legalize abortion despite opposition by the Nat. Action Party of pres. Felipe Calderon, becoming the first major Latin Am. capital to legalize it, causing protests by outraged Roman Catholics that escalate for years until ?. On Apr. 24 Alec Holden of Epsom, England wins $50K on a ? bet made with bookmaker William Hill nine years earlier that he would live to age 100, causing bookmakers to raise the age threshold to 110. On Apr. 24-25 the EPA P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) Expo in the Nat. Mall in Washington, D.C. features students competing for an award for the best sustainable design. On Apr. 25 the Dow Jones Industrial Avg. closes at 13,089.89, up 135.95, the first time it breaks the 13K barrier; it closes the week on May 4 with the biggest winning streak since 1955. On Apr. 26 paralyzed British physicist Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) goes on a weightless ride, and comments that the human race is in danger of destroying the Earth and should think about escaping into space - just pass Uranus and turn left? On Apr. 26 MIT admissions dean Marilee Jones resigns after three decades after it is found out that she lied about her academic credentials to get er, admitted - work experience doesn't count? On Apr. 27 Saudi Arabia announces the arrest of 172 militants who had big plans for terrorism, incl. disrupting oil production. On Apr. 27 pink-wearing black Harlem rapper Cam'ron (Cameron Giles) (1976-) is interviewed on 60 Minutes about an incident on Oct. 23, 2005 where he was shot 3x by a thief trying to steal his Lamborghini, saying he's "not a snitch" and will not cooperate with police, causing some to suspect a publicity stunt. On Apr. 28 Colo. Dept. of Revenue supervisor Michelle Cawthra (1976-) is arrested after funneling tax money from state accounts into bank accounts controlled by Hysear Don Randell (1966-), stealing up to $10M. On Apr. 28 U.S. Gen. William Eldridge Odom (1932-2008) delivers a Radio Address on Iraq, saying that the CIC has "gone AWOL". On Apr. 29 the world ends, according to Am. conservative Christian TV commentator Pat Robertson (b. 1930) in his 2000 book The New Millennium (p. 138). On Apr. 29 demonstrations are held in more than 30 countries to protest the violence in Darfur; protesters (mainly young babes in jeans?) stage a "die-in" rally on Boston Common, laying on their backs with their legs tightly closed like corpses. On Apr. 29 700K march in Istanbul to protest the possible election of a Muslim fundamentalist president, calling for the resignation of PM Recep Tayyip Erodgan in favor of their guy, foreign minister Abdullah Gul. On Apr. 29 Afghanis carrying the bodies of five Afghans (incl. a woman and teenage girl) killed in a U.S.-led raid block a highway in E Afghanistan with rocks and fell trees to denounce the Afghan govt. and demand an explanation. On Apr. 29 a gasoline tanker carrying 8.6K gal. crashes and burns on a freeway in Emeryville, Calif. feeding the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, causing a stretch of highway to melt and collapse. On Apr. 29 a gunman driving a dead woman's car shoots a police officer then opens fire in a parking lot and enters the Ward Parkway Center in Kansas City, Mo. with a rifle, killing two more before being killed. On Apr. 30 a high-level panel sharply criticizes Israeli PM Ehud Olmert for "serious failure" in his handling of the war in Lebanon, "hastily" rushing into it with an unprepared army, and emboldening Israel's enemies. On Apr. 30 Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British army announces that Prince Third-in-Line Harry will serve with a combat unit in Iraq, where he will lead a 12-man team in four armored recon vehicles from his tank; on May 16 Dannatt changes his mind, citing threats to him and his battle group, which is hailed as a big V by insurgents in S Iraq, who call it a chicken play after the capture of the British sailors by Iran. On Apr. 30 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 8-1 in Scott v. Harris that police do not violate a speeding driver's rights by ramming their cars, even if they injure them - we don't need no stinkin' badges? On Apr. 30 after being nominated by Pres. George W. Bush on Feb. 12 and unanimously confirmed by the Dem.-controlled U.S. Senate on Mar. 29, Afghanistan-born Sunni Muslim Repub. ambassador to Afghanistan (2003-5) and Iraq (2005-7) Zalmay Khalilzad (1951-) becomes U.S. U.N. ambassador #26 (until Jan. 22, 2009), going on to charge in Nov. that Iran is helping insurgent groups in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is proceeding with its program to build nukes, and urge the U.N. Security Council in Aug. 2008 to take urgent action to "condemn Russia's military assault on the sovereign state of Georgia". On Apr. 30 "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey (1956-), who is charged with running a prostitution ring in Washington, D.C. announces that she will out many prominent people incl. "a Bush administration economist, the head of a conservative think tank, a prominent CEO, several lobbyists and a handful of military officials", incl. Randall L. Tobias (1942-), top foreign aid adviser in the U.S. State Dept. (who resigned on Apr. 27), and U.S. Defense Dept. consultant Harlan K. Ullman (1941-), who coined the phrase "shock and awe"; her defense is that the girls were told to provide only a "high-end fantasy service", not sex, at $300 for 90 min. In late Apr. Barbara Hillary (1931-) becomes the first black woman to clinton through the bush, er, trek to the North Pole. In Apr. Cuban woman Yoani Maria Sanchez Cordero (1975-) launches her Generation Y Blog, criticizing the Castro regime under his nose, and becoming too popular to shut down. In Apr. the U.S. military death toll in Iraq is 104, the deadliest since Dec. 2006 (112). On May 1 the May Day (Internat. Workers' Day) Parade in Revolution Square in Havana is unusual for the absence of pres. Fidel Castro for the 3rd time in almost 50 years. On May 1 Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri (1968-) is gunned down by rivals at a bridge near Lake Tharthar N of Baghdad, Iraq; on May 3 al-Qaida operative Muharib Abdul-Latif al-Jubouria is killed in Iraq. On May 1 in Los Angeles a peaceful immigration rally is swarmed by the elite Metropolitan Div. B Platoon, who fire 148 rubber bullets into the crowd and rough up journalists, causing 60 of them to be taken off the street by police chief William Bratton. On May 2 a rocket attack in the Green Zone in Baghdad kills four Asian contractors working for the U.S. - living in the Wild, Wild West? On May 3 after the Bush admin. long resists talks with both Syria and Iraq, U.S. secy. of state Condoleezza Rice meets with Syrian foreign minister Walid Moallem in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and tells him of U.S. concerns about his porous border with Iraq ; "It's a start", says Moallem; on May 4 Iraq wins a promise from Arab countries in the Sharm El-Sheikh conference to stop foreign militants from joining the insurgency. On May 3 Queen Elizabeth II and her hubby Prince Philip arrive in the U.S. to visit the Jamestown settlement in Williamsburg, Va. on its 400th anniv., praising the way the U.S. has evolved into "a much more diverse society", adding "The melting pot metaphor captures one of the great strengths of your country and is an inspiration to others around the world as we face the continuing social challenges head", recalling her last visit in 1957 when the celebration was all-white and segregated; after meeting with Virginia Tech families and students, on May 5 she attends the Kentucky Derby, causing all the women to try to outdo her with extravagant hats; on May 7 she visits the White House, her first visit since 1991, where the first white tie and tails dinner of the George W. Bush admin. is held; on May 4 O.J. Simpson is refused service at an upscale Louisville, Ky. steakhouse by owner Jeff Ruby who utters the soundbyte: "I don't want to serve him because of my convictions of what he's done to those families", even though he used to idolize him and had a photo of himself and Simpson on display before the killings; after Simpson leaves quietly and the other customers applaud Ruby, he adds "It was the first time since 1994 he has ever shown any class." On May 3 the first Repub. pres. debate is held at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., and Rudy Giuliani, the only pro-choice candidate utters the immortal soundbyte "It would be OK" if Roe v. Wade were repealed after Tom Tancredo says it would be the "greatest day in the country's history". On May 3 Dem. pres. candidate Barack Obama is given Secret Service protection after racial threats, becoming the earliest ever given a pres. candidate. On May 3 two army recruits hijack a plane in Havana, Cuba, kill a hostage, and are arrested before it can take off. On May 4 the U.S. govt. places a hold on 20M chickens raised for market after finding that their feed was mixed with pet food containing yukky melamine. On May 4 John Schneider, who played Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard TV show auctions off a version of the 1969 Dodge Charger "General Lee" for an eBay record $9,900,500. On May 4 (9:45 p.m.) a 200 mph 1.5-mi.-wide EF-5 tornado hits Greensburg, Kan. (E of Dodge City), virtually wiping it out, and killing ten; meanwhile Mt. Aetna in Italy erupts for several days. On May 5 a Kenya Airlines Flight 507 (Boeing 737-800) en route from Douala to Nairobi crashes on the outskirts of Douala, Cameroon 12 min. after takeoff, killing all 114 aboard. On May 5 conservative former 8-year Tenn. Repub. Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson (1942-) of "Law & Order" and "Hunt for Red October" acting fame gives a smooth Southern drawl speech at the Lincoln Club in Orange County, Calif., saying that he believes the U.S. should stay in Iraq as long as there is a chance of bringing in a new series, er, stability, adding that otherwise "we are going to leave an area of the world that becomes more and more nuclear" because if Iran gets a nuke other nearby countries will follow suit, and noting al-Qaida's stated intention to "put a mushroom cloud over an American city"; he also says that the 12M illegals in the U.S. don't bother him as much as the next 12M to come; he announces his pres. candidacy on Sept. 5 on The Tonight Show. On May 5 10K Turks gather in Canakkale and Manisa in W Turkey to call for Turkey's secular Islamic govt. to be preserved. On May 5 an explosion in the Pudeng Coal Mine in C China kills 15 miners and traps 30; an avg. of 13 miners die each day in mining accidents in China. On May 5 Hollywood begins releasing a summer-full of threequels, starting with "Spider-Man 3" ($336M), then "Shrek the Third" (May 18) ($320M, plus record animated film $122M opening weekend), "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (May 25) ($307M), "Ocean's Thirteen" (June 8) ($116M), "The Borne Ultimatum" (Aug. 3) ($78M), and "Rush Hour 3" (Aug. 12) ($?M) - guess what, hot pants did come? On May 5 former child star Kirk Cameron (1970-) and Ray Comfort takes on "curer of theism" atheist Brian Sapient on ABC-TV's Nightline Face-Off in a debate about the existence of God, showing the irreconcilable conflict between atheists and theists; Cameron-Comfort feature their Banana Argument for the Existence of God; other theists give the equally tasty Peanut Butter Argument Against Evolution. On May 6 the pres. election in France sees conservative pro-Israel law and order interior minister Nicolas "Sarko the American" Sarkozy (Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa) (1955-) ("an American with a French passport") (son of a Protestant Hungarian immigrant and a half-Greek Jewish half-French Roman Catholic mother) of the center-right UMP defeat Socialist Segolene (Ségolène) Royal (1953-) by 53.1% to 46.9%, becoming pres. of France on May 16 (until May 15, 2012), pledging to break the old outmoded habits of France, incl. the 35-hour "absurd" workweek, and to stand up against tyranny, dictators, and Muslim oppression of women, then urges the U.S. to take the lead on fighting global warming; after Sarkozy signals that he will take a tougher line toward Russia, pres. Vladimir Putin fails to congratulate him on his win; meanwhile anti-Sarkozy protests are held in Paris and Marseille, comparing him to Mussolini and Hitler; on May 17 Francois Fillon (1954-) of the UMP is appointed by Sarkozy as PM of France (until May 10, 2012); on June 17 elections give the UMP a clear parliamentary majority, although it's no landslide V as voters fear giving him too much power. On May 6 the U.S., Egypt, Iran, the U.N. Security Council et al. hold a conference in Baghdad, Iraq; meanwhile two suicide bombers in Hilla, S Iraq kill 77+ Shiite pilgrims. On May 6 a plane carrying foreign peacekeepers across the Sinai desert crashes 50 mi. from el-Nakhi near a stretch of highway, hitting a truck, killing eight French soldiers and a Canadian, but leaving the truck driver unharmed. On May 6 U.S. gasoline prices surge to a record $3.07 per gal., topping the previous record of $3.03 set on Aug. 11, 2006. On May 7 six Am. Muslims are arrested for planning an attack on Ft. Dix and other military installations; authorities cracked the case 15 mo. earlier when one of them brought a video showing them shouting "Allahu akbar" and firing weapons to a N.J. store; on Dec. 22, 2008 five are convicted of conspiracy, and three are sentenced to life in prison. The double-standard U.S. justice system stinks itself up again? On May 7 Am. diva Paris Hilton is ordered to serve a 45-day jail term starting June 5 for probation violation on a Jan. alcohol-related reckless driving conviction after she fails to obey their orders not to drive and blames it on her publicist Elliot Mintz (1945-), saying that she doesn't read her mail because "I have people who do that for me", and was told by Mintz that it was okay to drive under some circumstances, telling reporters "I feel that I was treated unfairly and that the sentence is both cruel and unwarranted and I don't deserve this"; she then fires you know who, then quickly rehires him; a few days into her sentence she buys, er talks the sheriff into releasing her to house arrest in her posh mansion, stirring outrage, and causing the judge to order her back to jail to serve the full sentence; she then calls ABC-TV journalist Barbara Walters from jail and tells her that she hopes the media will focus on "more important things", and claims to be changed, saying, "I would like to make a difference... God has given me this new chance." On May 7 the supposedly new Dem. U.S. Congress shows its true colors by kowtowing to the pharmaceutical industry and defeating by 49-40 a law that would have allowed low-priced foreign prescription drugs to be imported. On May 8 French pres. Jacques Chirac becomes the last French leader who lived through WWII to head the annual ceremony celebrating the Allied victory over the Nazis. On May 8 Israeli officials denounce the Hamas-backed Al-Aqsa children's TV program Tomorrow's Pioneers (debuted Apr. 13), which features a giant black-white Mickey Mouse clone named Farfour (Farfur) ("butterfly"), who squeaks "You and I are laying the foundation for a world led by Islamists", and how kids should grow up to "return the Islamic community to its former greatness, and liberate Jerusalem... liberate Iraq... and liberate all the countries of the Muslims invaded by the murderers" - babies, they're so innocent, so pure, shouldn't their food be too? On May 9 Pope Benedict XVI visits Brazil, and says that Mexican lawmakers who legalized abortion on Apr. 24 excommunicated themselves. On May 9 an explosion rattles the U.S. Embassy in the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq while vice-pres. Cheney is visiting. On May 10 Bush's poodle, British PM Tony Blair announces that he will step down on June 26; on May 17 he visits the White House, where Pres. Bush pats him on the back. On May 12 7 U.S. soldiers are ambushed near Youssifiyah in the Triangle of Death 20 mi. SW of Baghdad, killing four plus an Iraqi translator; three soldiers are taken hostage, causing a massive manhunt. On May 12 Russia announces a deal to build a new pipeline from Turkmenistan through Kazakhstan into Russia's pipeline network in Europe, dramatically increasing natural gas flow from C Asia to Europe, and giving Russia control of the bulk of it. On May 15 outgoing French pres. (since 1995) Jacques Chirac delivers his final appeal, urging unity and pride, saying "A nation is a family. This link that unites us is our most precious asset." On May 15 U.S. atty. Stephen Pfeiffer tells the court that 10 Earth Liberation Front arsonists who were found guilty of setting 20 fires in five W U.S. states from 1996-2001 and causing $40M in damage should have their sentences enhanced for terrorism, comparing them to the KKK, stirring outrage from environmental activists. On May 15 Pres. Bush nominates Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute (1953-) as the "war czar", his asst. adviser on Iraq and Afghanistan (until ?) - Cool Hand Lute? On May 15 "Rocky" actor Sylvester Stallone pleads guilty to importing human growth hormone (HGH) and steroids into Australia, claiming they were prescribed for a medical condition and he didn't know it was illegal - duh, hey Adrian? On May 15 XM Satellite Radio suspends shock jocks Opie and Anthony for making crude sexual comments about Condy Rice, Laura Bush, and Queen Elizabeth II and then making light of the incident. In mid-May a 11-nation Bad Arolsen Conference is held in Luxembourg to consider repealing the 1955 law restricting access to the Nazi archives in Bad Arolsen, which can only be accessed by the Red Cross. On May 16 World Bank pres. (since 2005) Paul Wolfowitz (who resembles a Jewish Pres. George W. Bush?) negotiates a deal to resign along with an acknowledgment on June 30 from the bank that he doesn't bear sole responsibility for the generous pay package given his girlfriend Shaha Ali Riza; on May 30 Pres. Bush names his trade chief Robert Bruce Zoellick (1953-) to succeed him as World Bank pres. #11 on July 1 (until ?). On May 16 Gaza City turns into a war zone as Hamas and Fatah battle each other in the streets, killing 21. On May 17 the U.S. Senate reaches agreement on legislation to give illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship, allowing them to pay $5K over eight years ($60B total for 12M illegals), and creating a temporary worker program for 400K foreign workers a year; too bad, despite making English the official language of the U.S. as a sop, Repub. opposition over a perceived amnesty program kills it after Tom Tacredo issues the soundbyte "You can put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig"; an attempt at a bipartisan compromise collapses in early June. On May 19 the 22-ft.-tall 1954 $15K Italian marble statue of Jesus at the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, Colo. is struck by lightning, knocking off its outstretched arms along with a foot; the statue is insured. On May 19 former pres. Jimmy Carter tells the Ark. Dem.-Gazette: "As far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history"; after Pres. Bush calls his remarks "increasingly irrelevant", he backs down, saying "I wasn't comparing the overall administration, and I was certainly not talking personally about any president. I think this administration's foreign policy compared to President Nixon's was much worse", but not the worse in history. On May 19 an explosion in the Green Zone in Baghdad in the British Embassy compound just before the arrival of PM Tony Blair wounds one. On May 20 a suicide bomber targeting a U.S. convoy kills 14 and wounds 31 in a crowded market in Gardez, Afghanistan in E Afghanistan. On May 20-21 NATO secy.-gen. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer visits Pres. Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Tex. On May 20-21 Islamic Fatah Islam militants battle Lebanese troops in the Palestinian refugee camp (one of 12) of Nahr el-Bared 10 mi. N Tripoli; on May 20 22 Lebanese soldiers and 17 militants are killed. On May 20 the Israeli air force strikes the home of Hamas parliament member Khalil al-Haya (1963-), killing eight whie he is attending an Egyptian-sponsored truce meeting; meanwhile Gaza militants fire at least a dozen rockets into S Israel, and Palestinian pres. Mahmoud Abbas calls for internat. pressure to stop the Israeli attacks. On May 20 a bus en route to New York City veers off a highway and crashes near Clearfield, Penn., killing two and injuring 32. On May 22 Pew Research Center pub. the first Nationwide Survey of Muslim-Ams., finding them to be largely assimilated, happy, and moderate; they estimate the U.S. Muslim pop. at 2.35M. On May 23 a political class with pro and anti Pervez Musharraf students in Karachi, Pakistan erupts into violence, killing 28, becoming the worst violence in a 2-mo. govt. crisis caused by the ousting of the head of the supreme court on Mar. 9. On May 23 Conservative married Christian Italian-Am. Elisabeth Hasselbeck and leftist lesbian Rosie O'Donnell get in a verbal cat fight on ABC's The View, causing O'Donnell to resign, even though she was scheduled to leave later anyway because of a salary dispute despite raising the show's ratings. On May 23 U.S. Sen. Barrack Obama gives a Speech on Immigration Reform in the U.S. Senate, with thesoundbyte: "The time to fix our broken immigration system is now. We need stronger enforcement on the border and at the workplace." On May 23 Istanbul mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a speech, calling Turkey's secular constitution "a huge lie", with the soundbytes "Sovereignty belongs unconditionally and always to Allah", and "One cannot be a Muslim and secular." On May 25 Pres. Bush signs a bill financing the Iraq War after the Dem.-controlled Congress caves in and gives up trying to tie the money to U.S. troops - it's not over, you're not the only one? On May 25 radical Shiite Madhi Army leader Muqtada al-Sadr makes his first appearance in the pulpit of Najaf Mosque in Baghdad 14 weeks after fleeing to Iran. On May 27 U.S. fores free 42 kidnapped Iraqis, many of them tortured from an al-Qaida hideout N of Baghdad, Iraq. On May 28 the U.S. and Iran hold their first diplomatic meeting in 27 years in Baghdad, with U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker and Iranian ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi talking about Iraqi security for four hours, and Iran agreeing to stop arming and financing militants. On May 28 (Mon.) a decision by Pres. Hugh Chavez to shut down Radio Caracas TV (which was critical of his govt.) on midnight Sun. causes 5K protesters to take to the streets. On May 28 the Miss Universe 2007 Pageant is held in Mexico City; Miss Tenn. USA Rachel Renee Smith (1985-) is booed by the anti-U.S. crowd, and slips and falls during her gown competition; ballet dancer Riyo Mori (1986-) becomes the 2nd Japanese contestant to win (first was Akiko Kojima in 1959); wasting no time, Mori lands a role on the NBC-TV sci-fi series "Heroes" as Yaeko, love interest for a main char. On May 29 Pres. Bush orders new U.S. economic sanctions to pressure the govt. fo Sudan to halt bloodshed in Darfur, promising that the U.S. "will not avert our eyes from a crisis that challenges the conscience of the world". On May 29 Nigerian pres. (since 1999) Olusegun Obasanjo (a Christian from the S), who asked lawmakers to change the constitution to allow him to seek a 3rd term in a country of 130M people split into 250 ethnic groups which is also Africa's biggest oil producer is succeeded by Sunni Muslim Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (1951-) as pres. #2 of Nigeria's Fourth Repub. (until ?). On May 29 Russia launches its new RS-24 ICBM, which is fired from a mobile launcher and is capable of carrying six warheads in an effort to prove to the U.S. that its proposed anti-missile shield in Europe will be futile, with Pres. Putin pointin' out "We think it would be harmful and dangerous to turn Europe into a tinderbox and fill it with new types of armaments"; Putin then surprises Bush in Germany with a proposal to use a Soviet-era early-warning radar in Azerbaijan as a substitute for radar and interceptors in Poland and the Czech Repub., which Bush dismisses, saying they're obsolete and too close to the potential launching points in Iran. On May 29 full-time anti-war protester mom Cindy Sheehan submits her resignation to the Am. people in her online blog, saying "Good-bye America... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it. It's up to you now"; on the way from her property in Crawford, Tex. to the airport to return to native Calif., she tells the AP "I've been wondering why I'm killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush"; in July she announces plans to seek House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional seat in San Francisco unless she introduces articles of impeachment against Bush by July 23 - 12 months same as cash? On May 30 Pres. Bush asks Congress for an additional $30B to fight AIDS in Africa over five years, doubling the current commitment. On May 30 the Bush admin. announces that it plans to allow nearly 7K Iraqi refugees to settle in the U.S. by the end of Sept.; since the war began in 2003, less than 800 have been admitted. On May 30 a U.S. CH-47 Chinook heli is shot down in Helmand Province, Afghanistan near Kajaki, Afghanistan, site of a U.S.-funded hydroelectric dam, killing five U.S. and two other soldiers. On May 31 Atlanta, Ga. atty. Andrew Speaker (1981-), who suffers from extremely drug-resistant TB contracted during charity work in Vietnam is taken to the Nat. Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colo. and quarantined (first person under federal quarantine since 1963) after he causes an internat. scare by flying to Europe to get married to Sarah Cooksey on Santorini Island in Greece, becoming known as the "TB Man"; his father-in-law Dr. Robert Cooksey is a CDC researcher specializing in TB, causing rumors that he got infected at the CDC lab; it is later learned he was misdiagnosed with XDRTB, and only has multiple drug-resistant TB (MDRTB). On May 31 orthopedic surgeon Valdis Zatlers (1955-) is elected pres. of the pivotal nation of Latvia; he is sworn-in on July 8 (until ?). On May 31 U.S. spammer Robert Allen Soloway is charged with identity theft and other federal criminal counts in an attempt to shut down his billions of spam emails choking the Net. In May Time mag. pub. its List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, snubbing Pres. Bush, who made all three previous eds., with deputy managing ed. Adi Ignatius explaining "His position on Iraq has cost him support in his own party. To a certain point, he sort of reached a lame-duck status." In May 1,949 civilians die in Iraq, along with 127 police officers and 47 soldiers. In May the approval rating of U.S. Pres. Bush sink to 29%, lowest in U.S. history; it rises to 33% in June - highest for an escaped zoo chimp? In May the price of a U.S. first-class postage stamp rises to 41 cents; surprise, the new Pres. Gerald Ford stamp is issued on Aug. 31. In May the Motion Picture Assoc. of Am. (MPAA) announces that it will use both sex and smoking as excuses to issue an "R" rating. In May a 1K-lb. feral pig dubbed Monster Pig is killed by an 11-y.-o. boy in a fenced hunting preserve near Birmingham, Ala. In May 4-y.-o. Madeleine McCann (2003-) of Britain is kidnapped in Portugal after her parents leave her alone a short time, causing a massive search which leads to Morocco and its child porn fun guys. On June 2 after spotting arms being shipped to Israel from there, U.S. authorities announce the breakup of a militant Muslim terrorist cell planning a "chilling" attack on the John F. Kennedy Internat. Airport by blowing up a 40-mi. jet fuel pipeline running through residential neighborhoods; in June 2010 Abdul Nur (former member of the Guyana parliament) pleads guilty, and on Dec. 15 is given a life sentence; on Aug. 3, 2010 a federal jury in Brooklyn, N.Y. convicts U.S. citizen Russell Defreitas. On June 2 25K-80K protesters rock Rostock, Germany to protest the upcoming Group of Eight summit, which is held on June 6-8 in the seaside town of Heiligendamm; on June 2 146 cops are injured and 17 are arrested after protesters shower police with grapefruit-size rocks and beer bottles before being driven back by tear gas and water cannons. On June 2 saboteurs bomb a vital bridge link to Baghdad, and Turkish troops mass for a possible strike across the Iraqi border into the Kurdish region to attack anti-Turkish Kurdish guerrillas, causing Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki to say "We won't allow it to be turned into a battleground". On June 17-15, 2007 the Battle of Gaza sees Hamas defeat Fatah and take control of the Gaza Strip, pissing-off Israel and the U.S. On June 9 cell phone salesman Paul Robert Potts (1970-) auditions for the new British ITV1 show Britain's Got Talent, wowing the judges and audience with a rendition of Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" from "Turandot", and going on to win the first season and start a successful recording career; judges incl. Simon Cowell (1959-), Amanda Holden (1971-), and Piers Morgan (1965-); British "Geordie" (with that Newcastle accent) duo Ant and Dec, consisting of Anthony McPartlin (1975-) and Declan Donnelly (1975-) are the backstage presenters. On June 10 (Sun.) Pres. Bushi, er, Bush ends his 8-day Euro tour by visiting E Europe, incl. the Czech Repub., Germany, Poland, Italy, Albania, and Bulgaria; in Albania he receives a hero's welcome in Fushe Kruje, a small town near the Tirana airport where he stopped to chat in a cafe, and even bigger hoopla in Albania for telling Russia that "Enough's enough - Kosovo is independent", with crowds shouting "Bushie, Bushie", and PM Sali Berisha calling him Albania's "greatest and most distinguised guest we have ever had in all times"; video coverage seems to show the enthusiastic crowd going for and swiping his wristwatch, but it is later shown that he puts it in his pocket; the super-poor country loves the U.S. and is fabled democracy so much that families like to name their children Bill, George and Hillary, and a 15-y.-o. boy was shown clemency by the courts in early June for stealing scrap metal because his name is Xhorxh Bushi - ask the onomastician? On June 10 a suicide bomber takes down a section of the Checkpoint 20 highway bridge outside Mahmoudiya, Iraq (20 mi. S of Baghdad), killing 20 policemen and wounding 10; meanwhile a suicide bomber kills 15 in a police facility in Tikrit, Iraq; on June 11 al-Qaida bombers driven from Baghdad by the 4-mo.-o. U.S. security operation blow up a bridge over the Diyala River in Baqouba, Iraq, capital of Diyala Province 60 mi. N of Baghdad, causing traffic to have to divert to a road running through al-Qaida-controlled territory. On June 10 Khairul Khalil (1975-), son of Brunei sultan Hassanal Bolkiah marries princess Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah (1976-) in the sultan's 1,788-room palace, where he already has two (wives that is). On June 10 admin. law judge Roy L. Pearson makes a mockery of the U.S. court system by pursuing a $54M lawsuit against Jin Nam, Soo and Ki Y. Chung of Custom Cleaners of Washington, D.C. for losing a pair of his pants in 2005, claiming they displayed a sign guaranteeing "unconditional satisfaction", and trying to twist the words into the language of the city's consumer protection law imposing $1.5K/day fines for violation, asking $3K (double since there's two legs?) for each of 1.2K days they failed to satisfy him, times three for the number of owner-employees, plus $500K for his legal costs, among other demands; the poor immigrant Asian owners already offered him $12K to settle after giving his pants back and him claiming a switch, but on June 25 smart judge Judith Bartnoff throws the bum out of court, making him pay $1K in clerical costs. On June 10-15 after Fatah lost the 2006 parliamentary elections, the Battle of Gaza sees Hamas violently take control of Gaza from Fatah, dissolving the unity govt.and de facto dividing the Palestinian territories in two after killing 118 and injuring 550; on June 11 a rocket-propelled grenade hits the Gaza City home of Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh hours after Hamas gunmen siege the home of senior Fatah official Jamal Abu al-Jediyan in N Gazi, then drag him outside and kill him. On June 11 a "no-confidence" vote against Central Am. dictator, er, U.S. atty.-gen. Alberto Gonzales, led by Dem. Senatorial Campaign Committee chmn. Charles Ellis "Chuck" Schumer (1950-) of N.Y. fails by 53-38 (seven votes short of the 60 required) after a 2-hour debate in which no Repub. comes to his defense, causing Pres. Bush to fire back that "They can have their votes of no-confidence but it's not going to make the determination about who serves in my government"; meanwhile six Repub. senators have asked for his resignation. The Iraq govt. settles into Three Stooges comedy shorts? On June 11 Iraqi physician Mahmoud al-Mashhadani (1948-), leader of the 44-member Sunni Accordance Front bloc, and known for slapping a fellow lawmaker and hurling insults is ousted from his post as speaker of the 275-member Shiite-dominated legislature, causing him to call it "an illegal decision made by a juvenile house", and digging into Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki and Sunni Kurd pres. Jalal Talabani as "much worse" and "even worse because he does nothing" - nyuk nyuk nyuk? On June 11 three Nat. Guard members assigned to the Tex.-Mexico border are arraigned on federal charges of running an immigrant smuggling ring after 24 illegals are found in a van driven by Pfc. Jose Rodrigo Torres (1981-) of Laredo, Tex., along with cell phone text messages claiming he charges $150 a person. On June 11 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules unanimously in the case of Long Island Care at Home Ltd. v Evelyn Coke (1934-) that home care workers are not entitled to overtime pay. On June 11 the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules 2-1 that the Bush admin. should either charge suspected terrorist Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri (1966-) (a legal U.S. resident and the only suspected enemy combatant on U.S. soil) or release him from military custody, causing an immediate admin. appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agrees to certiori until the govt. transfers his case to the federal civilian court system, making it moot, after which on Apr. 30, 2009 he pleads guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist org. and receives a 15-year sentence. On June 11 French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner announces that the pres. of Sudan has agreed to a hybrid U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force of 20K to stop the bloodshed in Darfur, but is adamant that all of the troops must be African; on June 17 the British ambassador to the U.N. announces that an agreement has been reached, with the commander to be African. On June 11 a Miami. Fla. co. issues a nationwide recall for 170K Shir brand toothpaste products imported from China which contain poisonous diethylene glycol antifreeze; meanwhile the numerous dangers of Chinese imports cause a backlash boycott in the U.S., even though China imports $290B worth of junk a year, and much of it is not identified as being from there. On June 11-12 two sets of sextuplets are born in two different U.S. states less than a day apart, to Brianna and Ryan Morrison in Minneapolis, Minn. on June 11, and to Jenny and Bryan Masche in Phoenix, Ariz. on June 11. On June 12 Afghan police mistakenly attack U.S. troops, who respond by killing eight of them and wounding four. On June 12 U.S. undersecy. of state R. Nicholas Burns (1956-) tells reporters in Paris that Iran is funding insurgents across the Middle East, and arming the Taliban in Afghanistan, upping the ante on statements made by U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates a week earlier that Iranian weapons were falling into their hands somehow. On June 13 insurgents blow up the two minarets of the Shiite Askariyya (Al-Askari) Shrine in Samarra, Iraq (60 mi. N of Baghdad) for the 2nd time in a year (1st time Feb. 2006), taking out the twin minarets overlooking the kaput Golden Dome, sparking Shiite wrath causing four Sunni mosques in Baghdad to be attacked, and a curfew to be called; meanwhile U.S. Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey tells a news conference that one in six Iraqi policemen trained by U.S. forces has been killed, wounded, deserted, or disappeared. On June 13 a car bomb kills vocal anti-Syrian lawmaker Walid Eido (1942-) and nine others near the Beirut waterfront, making him the 7th anti-Syrian figure killed in Lebanon in two years, starting with the Feb. 14, 2005 death of PM Rafik Hariri (b. 1944). On June 13 after winning support from 86 of 120 Knesset members in the 2nd round, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres (Szymon Perski) (1923-2016), a former PM (1984-6, 1995-6) and founder of Israel's nuclear program is elected as Israel's 9th pres. for a 7-year term, taking office on July 15 (until July 24, 2014). On June 13-14 fighters of Hamas (Palestinian branch of the Muslim brotherhood, formed in 1987) take over the Gaza Strip from Yasser Arafat's Fatah (founded in the 1950s) in a fierce battle, then hold a parade where their green flags are displayed; on June 15 Israeli PM Ehud Olmert orders a Gaza Blockade (until ?); on June 17 a new govt. led by pres. Mahmoud Abbas is sworn-in in Ramallah despite Hamas protests, and he immediately outlaws Hamas militants and announces that he'll work to restore foreign aid and end the 15-mo. boycott; meanwhile Israeli PM Ehud Olmert says in New York City that Israel will be a "genuine partner" of the new govt. and will consider releasing frozen tax funds; on June 18 the Bush admin. lifts its embargo. On June 15 Salam Fayyad (1952-) becomes PM of the Palestinian Nat. Authority (until ?); on June 28 he meets with 800 Muslim clergy in Ramallah, and tells them that he won't tolerate calls for violence delivered from mosque pulpits, causing Clintonites in the U.S. to rally behind him as the hero who will end corruption in Fatah, make it more popular than Hamas, and lead the united Palestinians to sign a permanent 2-state peace solution with Israel. On June 16 after dropping all charges in Apr., Michael Byron "Mike" Nifong (1950-), the Durham County, N.C. distrity atty. who persecuted the three Duke U. lacrosse players since 2006 with unfounded race-card rape charges for political gain is disbarred by a disciplinary committee, who calls his abuses a "fiasco"; on June 18 he resigns, and on June 19 he is suspended with pay; on Sept. 7 he servces a 1-day jail sentence for contempt of court; meanwhile the players and their families prepare to file multimillion dollar lawsuits; no charges are filed against accuser Crystal Magnum, who rushes to cash in with a book. On June 17 a bomb explodes in a bus carrying police instructors in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 35 and wounding 52, becoming the deadliest insurgent attack since the 2001 U.S.-led Afghan invasion; meanwhile an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition accidentally kills several Afghan boys in E Afghanistan. On June 18 a black bear fatally mauls an 11-y.-o. boy camping in Utah. On June 19 billionaire New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a lifelong Dem. who switched to the Repub. Party in 2000 before his 2001 mayoral race switches to unaffiliated for a possible independent pres. bid. On June 19 hundreds of Palestinians fleeing the fighting hole up in a concrete tunnel at the Erez Crossing in N Gaza Strip. On June 19 the Vatican issues Ten Commandments for Motorists, starting with "Thou shalt not kill" and ending with "Feel responsible toward others". On June 20 the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in Am. (AMJA) issues a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from providing food and supplies to U.S. and allied troops working in Muslim countries incl. Iraq and Afghanistan. On June 20 Ill. Dem. Sen. Barack Obama poses for photos in his Senate office with pornographer Terry Richardson, who is known for making selfies of himself having sex with sheep. On June 20 the U.S. Dept. of State holds a meeting of intel officials to discuss formal engagement with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which has been diplomatically quarantined since 9/11.; they decide against it. On June 22 Harvard Law School grad. Larry Manzanares (b. 1957), a former Colo. district judge, who resigned as city atty. of Denver, Colo. in Feb. commits suicide at the Mamie Dowd Eisenhower Park hours after appearing in court on a slew of trumped-up felony charges involving a petty offense case of a stolen state court laptop computer found in his possession, which he claims he bought from a man in a parking lot for $200 and didn't know was stolen; the case was sensationalized when typical Colo. drunk-with-power prosecutor Scott Story called a press conference to introduce allegations of porno discovered on the laptop's drive (like just about every computer drive connected to the Internet nowadays), driving a judge to commit hara-kiri; the typical power-abusing Colo. prosecutors collide with one of their own for once? On June 22 militant Islamic madrasa students raid a Chinese-run massage parlor in Islamabad, Pakistan and abduct 25 Chinese masseuses dressed only in bras and panties, then hold them hostage for 24 hours to er, embarrass the govt. On June 22 popular WWE Superstar U.S. wrestler Christopher Michael "Chis" Benoit (b. 1967) strangles his wife Nancy and tranquilizes and kills his 7-y.-o. son Daniel in his $1M home, then hangs himself in his weight room on June 24; "roid rage" is suspected, and on July 2 his physician Dr. Phil Astin, who saw him on June 22 and gave him a prescription for Zoloft the morning before the rampage is charged with improperly dispensing 1M doses of controlled substances during the past two years; Benoit's testosterone ratio is found to be 59x normal - family secrets at 10/9 Central only on what network? The Blair era is over, and is replaced with a new one with Brains and Balls? On June 24 Scottish finance minister James Gordon Brown (1951-) takes control of Britain's governing Labour Party, saying that Britain would "learn lessons that need to be learned" after Tony Blair's support of the Bush Iraq War, and that his new foreign policy will "reflect the truth that to isolate and defeat terrorist extremism now involves more than military force", saying "It is also a struggle of ideas and ideals that in the coming years will be waged and won for hearts and minds here at home and round the world"; Harriet Ruth Harman (1950-) is elected as his deputy (until Sept. 12, 2015), calling for the govt. to apologize for its mistakes over the Iraq War; Brown adds that he will maintain Britian's strong relationship with U.S. pres. George W. Bush; on June 27 Blair steps down, and Brown takes over as British PM (until May 11, 2010) (Elizabeth's 11th PM), and on June 28 names Alistair Maclean Darling (1953-) as finance minister (chancellor of the exchequer) (until May 11, 2010), and pro-U.S. David Wright "Brains" Miliband (1965-) as the 2nd youngest foreign minister in British history (until May 11, 2010); his wife is a U.S. citizen; husband-wife team Edward Michael "Ed" Balls (1967-) (not to be confused with the writer Edward Ball) and Yvette Cooper (1969-) become secy. of state for children, schools, and family (until May 11, 2010), and housing minister (May 10, 2005-Jan. 24, 2008); David Miliband's younger brother Edward Samuel "Ed" Miliband (1969-) is named minister for the cabinet office (until Oct. 3, 2008); Tony Blair takes a new job as Middle East peace envoy to the internat. diplomatic Quartet, the U.S., the EU, the U.N., and Russia. On June 24 Saddam's cousin Hassan al-Majid AKA Chemical Ali is sentenced to hang for the massacre of 180K Kurds; his trial began on Aug. 21. On June 24 a car bomb kills six U.N. peacekeepers on patrol in S Lebanon; meanwhile a battle between Lebanese troops and Sunni militants in N Lebanon kills 10. We're back to the Biblical era of Judges? On June 25 the Bushified U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court shows its shift to the right in four 5-4 rulings: in Morse et al. v. Frederick (Bong Hits 4 Jesus Case) they decide against freedom of speech near schools, holding that the First Amendment doesn't stop educators from suppressing student speech promoting illegal drug use even it it's across the street from school; Federal Election Commission vs. Wisc. Right to Life Inc. they poke a giant hole in the McCain-Feingold campaign financing law by allowing TV ads by special interests groups as long as they don't mention voting; in Hein, Dir., White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives et al. v. Freedom from Religion Foundation Inc. et al. the Establishment Clause applies to Congress not the White House; in Nat. Assoc. of Home Builders et al. v. Defenders of Wildlife et al. they rule that the EPA was not out of line in transferring Clean Water Act authority to a state; Arthur Kennedy swings to the majority side on all four, which incl. Bush babies John Roberts and Samuel Alito, plus Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas; on June 28 the court rules 5-4 in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 that voluntary school desegregation efforts in Seattle, Wash. and Louisville, Ky. that take race into account in school assignments were not sufficiently "narrowly tailored", with Thomas, despite owing his education to affirmative action writes "It is far from apparent that coerced racial mixing has any educational benefits, much less that integration is necessary to black achievement"; John Roberts adds the soundbyte: "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race"; Breyer, Souter, Stevens, and Ginsburg dissents; opinion is divided on whether the Brown case is being affirmed or undermined; liberal justice Stephen Breyer laments "It's not often in law that so few have changed so much so quickly"; the term ends after the court announces that it will review the rights of terrorist suspects detained at Guantanamo Bay next term; on June 28 the liberals score one with a 5-4 ruling to overturn the death sentence of a Texas murderer because he may not be able to understand why he's being executed for gunning down his wife's parents since he quotes the Bible; concurring justices incl. Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Bryer, and swingin' Anthony Kennedy. On June 25 a wildfire near Lake Tahoe, Calif. forces hundreds of residents to flee as it destroys 200+ bldgs. On June 25 a suicide bomber strikes the Mansour Hotel outside the Green Zone in C Baghdad, Iraq, killing 13, incl. four Anbar tribal chiefs allied against al-Qaida, and wounding 27, pissing-off PM Nouri al-Maliki, who says "We are sure that this crime will not weaken the will of Anbar sheiks". On June 25 6-y.o. Afghan boy Juma Gul tells soldiers at Forward Operating Base Thunder that he had been recruited by the Taliban as a suicide bomber, which the Taliban dismisses as propaganda. On June 25 Rosie O'Donnell announces that she's dropping out of plans to replace retiring Bob Barker (b. 1924) as host of the CBS-TV daytime show "The Price Is Right" because she doesn't want to reclocate from New York to Calif. even though having his job was a childhood fantasy; Barker retired earlier in June after 35 years; on July 23 Drew Cary is announced as the new host. On June 25 white Utah State Prison inmate Curtis Allgier (1980-) gets his 15 min. of fame, escaping while out on a medical appointment, killing the corrections officer escorting him, then leading police on a high speed chase until being captured in an Arby's restaurant after a patron grabs his gun, then posing for a photo in the back seat of a police car, showing off his heavily tattooed handsome face and head, with the words "Skin Head" across his forehead - his whole life is devoted to fighting The Man? On June 26 the CIA Family Jewels are released, containing hundreds of pages of internal reports detailing assassination plots against Fidel Castro in the 1960-70s, as well as secret drug testing and spying on Americans. On June 26 U.S. Sen. (R-Ind.) (1977-) Richard Green "Dick" Lugar (1932-), ranking Repub. on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee breaks ranks with Pres. Bush on the Iraq War, saying "In my judgment, the costs and risks of continuing down the current path outweigh the potential benefits that might be achieved", and that the standing of the U.S. in the world could be irreparably eroded if it doesn't change its strategy soon; other Repub. Sens. chime in support of him as the White House tries to stifle them. On June 27 a PMT Air An-24 tourist plane crashes in Kampot Province, Cambodia, killing all 22 aboard. On June 28 the Vatican announces the Pope Benedict XVI is planning for the old Latin Mass to be used again. On June 28 a car bomb explodes in a bus station in W Baghdad in a Shiite neighborhood of Iraq, incinerating about 40 minibuses and killing 22 - buy one get one free? On June 29 the 2017 Neola North Wildfire starts in Neola in NE Utah 100 mi. E of Salt Lake City, and grows until a federal firefighting team is called in to take over on July 1; meanwhile the Am. Great Plains incl. Tex., Kan., Mo., and Okla. receive drenching rains which cause flooding, and Dallas-Ft. Worth Internat. Airport receives over 11 in., 0.5 in. shy of the 1928 record. On June 29 police foil a plot involving two cars in C London, England packed with explosives near Piccadilly Circus; on June 30 a fiery dark green Jeep Cherokee rams the terminal at Glasgow Internat. Airport, then two men run from it, Iraqi physician Bilal Talal Samad Abdullah (1980-), the latter on fire, both ending up captured and Ahmed in critical condition, obviously a bungled suicide bombing job, which is confirmed by a suicide note; Ahmed dies on Aug. 2; investigators later conclude that they had already tried to bomb a nightclub in C London; Abdullah is given two concurrent life sentences in London for conspiracy on Dec. 17, 2008, with possible parole in 32 years; meanwhile British authorities announce that the Muslim terrorists have been plotting to use health care profs. for attacks. On June 29 the Milford Flat Fire begins in Neola, Utah, in C Utah 100 E of Salt Lake City near Cove Fort, killing three and burning 23 sq. mi. of Ashley Nat. Forest; by July 8 (Sun.) is grows to 283K acres, becoming the largest in stae history, although it destroys no homes. In June 1,227 Iraqi civilians are killed, along with 190 police officers and 31 soldiers, the lowest since the start of the Baghdad security operation in mid-Feb. In June the U.S. Army switches back from the green dress uniform worn for the last cent. to the traditional blue ordered by Gen. George Washington to contrast with the red of the British redcoats in the Am. Rev. War; the combat uniform of gray for city, green for country, and tan for desert is kept. In June Nigerian immigrant Rotimi Adebari (1964-) becomes the first black mayor in Ireland, in the town of Portlaoise W of Dublin. In June the Ergenekon Case begins in Turkey as the first of 300 backers of the secular regime are arrested and put on trial for conspiring to overthrow the Islamist govt., turning into an effort to root out the entire older generation of Ataturk supporters (ends ?). In June the soap opera As the World Turns attempts to save sagging ratings by launching a gay-themed story line about Luke (Van Hansis) and Noah (Jake Silbermann), who engage in the first daytime TV gay kiss - mouth-mouth, not mouth-organ? In summer the number of people living in urban areas exceeds the number living in the countryside for the first time. On July 1 police step up their hunt for plotters of attempted car bombings in London and Glasgow as the anniv. of the July 7 London transit bombings approaches. On July 1 Russian pres. Vladimir Putin arrives in Maine for talks with U.S. Pres. Bush, eating a lobster dinner and going on a tour of Kennebunkport on Bush's speed fishing boat Fidelity III, which had become stuck hours earlier, causing Secret Service divers to be called to bail it out; Putin is the only person to catch a fish, a 30-lb. bass, which is thrown back; Putin then fleshes out his Azerbaijan site proposal, saying it can be modernized and that a radar system can be added in S Russia. On July 1 the 100-ft.-long Sea Stallion (Havhingsten) of Glendalough, a Viking replica long ship leaves Roskilde, Denmark on a 1.2K-mi. voyage to Dublin, Ireland, becoming the biggest Viking ship clone, modeled after a real one excavated in 1962 from the Riskilde fjord and dated to 910 C.E.; it arrives on Aug. 15. On July 1 Am. Civil War historian Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust (1947-) becomes the first female pres. (#28) of Harvard (until ?), replacing Lawrence Henry Summers, who resigned on June 30, 2006 after his free thoughts concerning possible correlation between gender and success in certain academic fields are respected not. On July 1 Tenn. becomes the first U.S. state to require an ID to be produced to buy beer, no matter how old the buyer looks; go figure, it doesn't cover hard liquor and wine. On July 1 smoking in enclosed public places is banned in England. On July 1-3 the 9th African Union Summit is held in Accra, Ghana; Senegalese pres. (since 2000) Abdoulaye Wade backs a United States of Africa, uttering the soundbyte: "If we fail to unite, we will become weak, and if we live isolated in countries that are divided, we face the risk of collapsing in the face of stronger and united economies." On July 2 Pres. Bush commutes Scooter Libby's 2.5-year prison term, but doesn't pardon him, although till the end he leaves the option hanging. On July 2 Hillary Clinton campaigns with hunk hubby Bill at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, and the crowd soon gives away that it's him they love, even though they clumsily try to cover it up? On July 3 masked al-Qaida militants clash with police in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing nine and wounding dozens; on July 4 police capture radical cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz as he tries to sneak out of the seiged Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) dressed in a woman's burqa, after which over 1K of his followers surrender, continuing to work for a Taliban-style govt.; on July 10 govt. troops storm the Red Mosque, where militants are holding 150 hostages, and capture it, killing 50 militants, incl. cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi (b. 1964), who told the private Geo TV network in advance "My martyrdom is certain now"; eight soldiers are killed; the surprise al-Qaida war on the Pakistani govt. causes a rift with the Taliban, which splits into the Tahreek-e-Taliban in Pakistan and the regular Taliban in Afghanistan; the militant Ghazi Force is created to avenge the assault - it was the heat of the moment showing in your eyes? On July 4 Joseph Christian "Joey Jaws" Chestnut (1983-) defeats 6-time winner Takeru Kobayashi (1978-) in the world hot dog eating contest at Coney Island, N.Y., with 66 in 12 min.; Kobayashi was keeping even until the end, when he reverses (barfs), finishing with 63; both are skinny dudes, not big fat dudes as might be expected, as it's all in the ability of the stomach to expand, and fat just gets in the way? On July 4 an avalanche sweeps a bus down a Mexican mountainside in Eloxochitlan, killing all aboard. On July 4 Chrysler Group signs a deal with Chery, China's biggest automaker to launch a low-cost production venture that will export cars to Latin Am., E Europe and/or North Am., which would become the first Chinese-made cars exported to the U.S. - don't try to eat them? They had to sign it on the Fourth of July? On July 5 Younis Tsouli (1984-) of Morocco, who dubbed himself the "jihadist James Bond" is sentenced to 10 years for running a network of extremist Web sites, using the ID "irhabi007" to upload guides on how to build suicide vests. On July 5 Miss New Jersey Amy Palumbo gives a news confrence in Asbury Park revealing that an anon. party is threatening to pub. personal photos of her if she doesn't resign; the photos later turn out to be lame antics of drinking and partying, but nothing pornographic, so she keeps her crown - and isn't beheaded because it's not Saudi Arabia? On July 6 an assassination attempt is made on Pakistani pres. Pervez Musharraf by gunmen firing at his plane with AA guns from the roof of a home. On July 6 Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, an Episcopal priest for 23 years announces that she has been a practicing Muslim for 15 mo. after being profoundly moved by the Islamic prayer ritual. On July 7 (7/7/07) (Sat.), the "luckiest day of the century" causes a tripling of weddings incl. "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria, and chef Wolfgang Puck; the really superstitious "seven-up" from there, starting with holding services at 7:00; Longoria marries French-born NBA champion San Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker. On July 7 400K attend the globally-televised Live Earth concert at Copacabana Beach in Brazil to spotlight climate change, sponsored by Save Our Selves, founded by Kevin Wall with backing by Al Gore et al., receiving a record 15M live video streams, becoming a hit in Canada and a flop in the U.K. and U.S. On July 7 (Sat.) a truck bomb in the public market in Armili, Iraq N of Baghdad in an area of Turkoman Shiites kills 155 and wounds 265; on July 8 a bomb strikes a truckload of new Iraqi soldier recruits on the outskirts of Baghdad, killing 15 and wounding 20, the whole weekend causing Shiite and Sunni politicians to call on Iraqi civilians to forget the security forces and take up arms to defend themselves, and White Officials to admit that the last pillars of support among Senate Repubs. for Bush's Iraq strategy are collapsing, and that Bush is under pressure to announce a gradual withdrawal from the high-casualty parts of Baghdad at least; on July 9 Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari warns the U.S. that an early withdrawal could bring on an all-out civil war and that it has the responsibility of supporting the current govt.; he also claims that Turkey has massed 140K troops near the border; meanwhile a progress report on Iraq concludes that the U.S.-backed Iraq govt. has not met any targets for reform, causing Bush's center to continue crack; meanwhile the price tag on the Iraq War is $450B, plus $12B a mo. On July 8 new British security minister Adm. Sir Alan William John West, Baron West of Spithead (1948-) warns that the battle against domestic militancy could take up to 15 years and that Britons should snitch on neighbors suspected of being terrorists. On July 8 James Coldwell (1958-) is arrested at his Manchester, N.H. for robbing a Citizen Bank dressed up as a tree, with boughs duct-taped to his head and torso; "He really went out on a limb", quoth police sgt. Ernie Goodno. On July 8 the Israeli cabinet approves the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners in order to bolster pres. Mahmoud Abbas in his power struggle with Hamas, and on July 8 the 22-nation Arab League announces that it is sending envoys on a historic first mission to Israel to discuss a weeping, er, sweeping Arab peace initiative in which full recognition of Israel will be traded for an Israeli withdrawal from all lands captured in 1967 and the creation of a Palestinian state; too bad, Israeli refuses to return all of the West Bank and resettle Palestianian refugees within its borders. On July 8 NAACP chmn. Julian Bond addresses its 98th annual convention in Detroit, saying that the Bush amin. has done little to support blacks, incl. his slow response to Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, and immigration issues, and that Americans living in poverty have increased from 32M to 37M during his admin. On July 8 four fuel smuggling trucks driving with headlights off crash into each other and catch fire in SE Iran, killing 13. On July 9 Buenos Aires, Argentina gets its first snowfall since 1918. On July 9 married U.S. Sen. (R-La.) David Bruce Vitter (1961-) apologizes and admits he sinned after Hustler mag. tells him that his telephone number was among those disclosed by "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey; "Canal Street" Madam Jeanette Maier then chimes in that he visited her brothel "several times" before she was shut down in 2001, paying $300 an hour. On July 10 a USA Today/Gallup poll gives Pres. Bush a 29% approval rating, down from 33% a mo. earlier, with 62% of Americans saying he made a mistake sending U.S. troops to Iraq, and 70% favoring withdrawal of most forces by Apr.; meanwhile Bush says that the U.S. will be able to pull back troops "in a while", but asks Congress to wait until Sept. to pass judgment; meanwhile Bush nemesis Cindy Sheehan and supporters begin a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting at her war protest site near Pres. Bush's Crawford, Tex. ranch, arriving in Washington, D.C. on July 23, demanding Bush's impeachment, after which Sheehan quits the Dem. Party for caving in to him, and announces her candidacy as an independent for the San Francisco seat of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not introducing articles of impeachment against the bum. On July 10 a dozen mortars or rockets are launched into the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, killing three, incl. an American, and wounding 18. On July 10 John McCain accepts the resignations of two top aides and elevates a 3rd to campaign mgr. as his maverick pro-Iraq War candidacy auto-scoops. On July 10 al-Qaida deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri releases a tape threatening Britain with more attacks and accusing London of pissing-off the Islamic world by giving novelist Salman Rushdie a knighthood. On July 10 former U.S. surgeon gen. Dr. Richard Carmona tells Congress that the admin. muzzled him for political reasons on hot-button health issues such as emergency contraception and abstinence-only education. On July 10 Pope Benedict XVI approves a document saying that other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches, and that Roman Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation - the more it changes the more it stays the same, 2007 ed.? On July 16 6.8 earthquake hits the W coast of Japan, setting off a fire at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, causing a fire to start, drums of radioactive material to fall over and radioactive water to spill into the sea. On July 16 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles approves a $660M settlement for victims of clergy sex abuse, with insurers to pick up $227M of the tab and religious orders $60M, raising eyebrows about just how rich the Church, which refuses to pub. financial disclosure statements, really is; the total amount of clergy sex abuse setlements rises to $2B. On July 16 Aaron Snyder (b. 1975), a tuxedoed engineer (high school valedictorian) with delusional problems brandishing a weapon and claiming to be "Emperor Aaron Aurelius Romanus Constantinus", appointed by God to take over the state govt. is shot and killed in the Colo. state capitol in Denver near the office of gov. Bill Ritter by Colo. secret service agent Jay Hemphill, becoming the first-ever fatal shooting in the bldg. On July 16 drunken Tamera Jo Freeman (1967-) is arrested on a San Francisco-to-Denver flight for spanking her kids and flinging her drink at a flight attendant for intervening, getting 3 mo. in jail as a felony terrorist under the wonderful new U.S. Jail All Patriots Act, which is now an open pass for the U.S. govt. to jail anybody on any pretext just for being in their way - making millions begin to hate their country and not want to fight for it anymore, like in the days leading to the fall of the Roman Empire? On July 17 U.S. intel agencies pub. a 2-page Nat. Intel. Estimate, saying that al-Qaida is alive and well and continues to plan 9/11-type attacks, and that the threat to the U.S. appears worse than before 9/11, despite the billions spent to stop them. On July 17 Tam Linhas Aereas Flight 3054 (Airbus-320) en route to Porto Alegre skids off the runway in Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, crosses a road and crashes into a gas station, causing a 1,830 deg. F fire which kills all 187 aboard plus four on the ground, becoming Brazil's worst air disaster (until ?); on July 21 at midnight just hours after pres. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva unveils new air safety measures and announces plans to build a new airport in Sao Paulo, a radar failure over the Amazon River forces Brazil to turn back or ground a string of internat. flights, deepening the crisis, which incl. sending part of the fuselage to the U.S. for analysis instead of the flight recorder. On July 17 actor Daniel Baldwin (1960-) appears on ABC News' Primetime exposing his incurable lifetime addition to cocaine that has been dragging him down to rock bottom. On July 17 black Atlanta Falcons QB (since 2001) Michael Vick (1980-) is indicted for operating Bad Newz Kennels, an illegal dog fighting ring, and faces up to 6 years; on July 19 U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W. Va.) goes on a ranting rage in a mostly empty Senate chamber, calling dogfighting "barbaric", saying "Let that word resound from hill to hill and from mountain to mountain, from valley to valley across the broad land"; on Aug. 27 after lying to his coach and everybody as long as he could, Vick pleads guilty to a felony and apologizes, trying to save his multi-megabuck football career from going totally down the toilet, and serves 18 mo. of a 23-mo. sentence, declaring bankruptcy and signing with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 while trying to stay out of prison by working with the Am. Humane Assoc. On July 17 Matthew Weiner's Mad Men debuts on AMC cable network for 92 episodes (until May 17, 2015), about the Sterling Cooper Ad Agency on Madison Ave. in New York City in the 1960s, starring Jonathan Daniel "Jon" Hamm (1971-) as philandering creative dir. Don Draper AKA Richard "Dick" Whitman, who loves the 1960s Manhattan Mod culture. On July 18 Senate Repubs. block legislation to force the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops within 120 days by 52-47, with 60 votes needed, giving Bush a 2-mo. breather; meanwhile the U.S. announces the July 4 capture of Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadni, a key link between al-Qaida in Iraq and Osama bin Laden's inner circle. On July 19 U.S. aviation authorities finally drop their ban on taking cigarette lighters onto planes, effective Aug. 4, calling searching for them a waste of time. On July 20 1M protest in La Paz over efforts to relocate the capital of Bolivia to Sucre. On July 20 255 jailed Palestinians are released by the Israelis to bolster the regime of Pres. Abbas, although thousands still remain in jail. On July 20 Michelle Obama, wife of Barack Obama fields questions on the new campaign video I Got a Crush on Obama, featuring slu, er, sexy model-actress Amber Lee Ettinger (1981-) AKA the Obama Girl. On July 20 Homeland Security secy. Michael Chertoff announces that cargo containers entering U.S. ports will finally be scanned by radiation-detecting equipment by the end of the year; critics complain that it has low sensitivity - as if they haven't already got all the nukes they need past the border by now? On July 20 Purdue Pharma LP, maker of OxyContin oxycodone pills is ordered to pay $634.5M for misleading the public that it is less addictive and abuse-prone than other medications. On July 21 Pratibha Patil (1934-) of the ruling Congress Party is elected by the nat. parliament as the first female pres. of India, defeating vice-pres. Bhairon Singh Shekhwat of the opposition nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party; she had recently elected the first female govt. of the N state of Rajasthan. On July 21 Barack Obama tells union activists in Des Moines, Iowa that he would walk a picket line as pres. if organized labor helps elect him, saying "We are facing a Washington that has thrown open its doors to the most anti-union, anti-worker forces we've seen in generations." On July 21 a U.S. military attack in Husseiniya, Iraq, 20 mi. N of Baghdad kills six and wounds five insurgents, according to the official version, but witnesses claim U.S. helis attack 3 hours during a 4-hour period in "a war against civilians inside their houses", killing at least 18, incl. women and children, and wounding 21. On July 21 Italian police arrest Muslim Moroccans Korchi El Mostapha (1966-) (an imam) and two aides, accusing them of using their Ponte Felcino Mosque in Perugia, Umbria as a terrorist training center. On July 21 Pres. Bush undergoes a colonoscope and hands his pres. powers to vice-pres. Dick "trigger-happy" Cheney; his last check was June 29, 2002. On July 21-22 London experiences its worst flooding in 60 years. On July 23 the Petit Murders see the home of Dr. William Petit (1957-) in Cheshire, Conn. invaded by Steven Hayes (1963-) and Joshua Komisarjevsky (1980-), who beat him with a baseball bat, rape and torture his wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit (b. 1959) and daughters Hayley (b. 1990) and Michaela (b. 1996), after which Petit escapes and goes for help, but the females are bound to their beds and burned alive while police surround the house and do nothing. On July 24 the U.S. federal minimum wage rises 70 cents to $5.85 an hour, becoming the first increase since 1997. On July 24 veterinarian (Catholic) Bamir Myrteza Topi (1957-) becomes pres. #5 of Albania (until ?). On July 30 U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts suffers a seizure in his summer home in Maine, his 2nd since Jan. 1993. On July 30 Barack Obama tells conservative Christian CBN News that "America is no longer just a Christian nation", and offers to be the Messiah who can find ways that religious conservatives and liberals can "begin to find common ground", with the soundbyte: "I think that the right might worry a bit more about the dangers of sectarianism. Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. We should acknowledge this and realize that when we're formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we've got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community" - is that what they call a New York state of mind, or a Chicago one, make that Washington D.C? On July 31 the Israeli govt. offers their 240K Holocaust survivors (half of whom live in poverty) a measly $20 per mo. stipend, stirring outrage. On July 31 the U.N. Security Council votes 15-0-0 to adopt Resolution 1769, establishing the U.N.-African Union Mission in Darfur (ends ?), which grows to 26K personnel with a budget of $106M/mo. by 2008 after it begins deployment in Oct.; by June 30, 2013 it has 19,735 personnel; by June 20, 2017 it loses 250 personnel KIA. In July U.S. Rep. (D-Mich.) (1955-) John David Dingell Jr. (1926-) proposes a carbon tax to cut greenhouse emissions. On Aug. 1 the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni Arab bloc quits the Iraqi cabinet; meanwhile insurgent attacks kill 142. On Aug. 1 an interstate bridge (built 1967) on the 8-lane I-35W between Minneapolis, Minn. and St. Paul, Minn. suddenly collapses into the Mississippi River during rush hour, dropping cars 60 ft. and killing three. On Aug. 1 a passenger train derails in Benaleka, Congo, killing 100. On Aug. 1 rock star Prince begins his Earth Tour, limiting his performances so he can devote time to studying Jehovah's Witnesses Bible lit. On Aug. 2 Serbian-born Charles (Dusan) Simic (1938-) becomes U.S. poet laureate #15 (until ?). On Aug. 2 two small Russian subs plant a titanium capsule on the floor of the Arctic Ocean near the North Pole containing a Russian flag in a symbolic attempt at claiming the region, which is estimated to contain 10B tons of oil and gas deposits. On Aug. 4 three college students are gunned down and a 4th shot in the head in Newark, N.J. by 28-y.-o. Jose Carranza (1979-), who surrenders five days later as mayor Cory A. Booker snubs him at police HQ an hour after announcing the arrest of another suspect, saying that the killings won't define the city even though the homicide rate is up over 50% in the past decade. On Aug. 5 Pres. Bush signs the controversial U.S. Protect America Act of 2007, amending the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), broadly expanding the U.S. govt.'s authority to eavesdrop on internat. communications of U.S. citizens without warrants as long as the target is a person "reasonably believed" to be overseas; despite fears of destruction of liberties of U.S. citizens, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 reauthorizes many of the 2007 act's provisions. On Aug. 6 the Crandall Canyon Coal Mine in Huntington, Utah collapses, causing a 3.9 earthquake and trapping and killing six miners. On Aug. 6 U.S. Army Cpl. Kareem Rashad Sultan (b. 1987), who joined to prove that not all Muslims are fanatics is killed by an IED in Baqubah, Iraq, and is buried in Arlington Nat. Cemetery after being awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star; Colin Powell later praises him in his endorsement speech of Barack Obama; the first Muslim U.S. soldier to die in combat?; he really turned jihadist and was blown up by his own bomb to go to Paradise with Allah? On Aug. 8 Space Shuttle Endeavour mission STS-118 blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. carrying teacher Barbara Radding Morgan (1951-) (Christa McAuliffe's backup in the doomed 1986 flight), along with Dave Williams (white) and Benjamin Drew (black); too bad, on Aug. 10 a gouge is found on its belly after it docks with the ISS; on Aug. 21 it lands safely. On Aug. 8 Fortune reports that Mexican communications magnate Carlos Slim Helu (1940-) has overtaken Bill Gates as the world's richest man, with a net worth of $68B, vs. $58B for Gates; on Mar. 5, 2008 he slides to #2, and on Mar. 11, 2009 slides to #3 after losing $25B. On Aug. 11 a roadside bomb in Iraq kills Qadisiyah Province gov. Khalil Jalil Hamza and police maj. gen. Khalid Hassan. On Aug. 13 Hurricane Dean starts as a tropical storm off the W coast of Africa, hitting Jamaica on Aug. 19, threatening Tex. and Mexico with Category 5 175 mph winds, causing Space Shuttle Endeavour to land a day early on Aug. 21; by Aug. 27 it kills 45 and causes $1.66B in damage. On Aug. 13 deputy White House chief of staff "the Architect" Karl Rove roves away from the White House, his services no longer needed for a lame duck pres. On Aug. 14 the 2007 Yazidi Communities Bombings sees four coordinate suicide bomb attacks in the Yazidi Kurd combo Jewish-Christian-Muslim-Zoroastrian towns of Qahtaniya and Jazeera near Mosul Iraq, which kill 500+ and injure 1.5K+, becoming the deadliest attack since last Nov. 23, when 215 were killed in Sadr City, and the deadliest terrorist attack in modern history after 9/11; there are a total of 100K Yazidis in Iraq; meanwhile dozens of uniformed gunmen in 17 official vehicles storm the Oil Ministry compound, taking the deputy oil minister and four others hostage, and a suicide truck bomber destroys Thiraa Dijla Bridge on the main highway to Mosul; five U.S. troops are killed in a CH-47 Chinook heli crash near Taqaddum Air Base, plus four more elsewhere in combat; meanwhile 16K U.S. and Iraqi soldiers go after militants in the Diyala River Valley N of Baghdad, further herding them towards the Yazidis and other Kurds. On Aug. 15 an 8.0 earthquake hits S of Lima, Peru, killing 350, incl. 17 trapped in a collapsing church in the city of Ica. On Aug. 15 Venezuelan pres. #62 (since Feb. 2, 1999) Hugo Chavez calls for an end to term limits, going on to stay in office until Mar. 5, 2013. On Aug. 15 New York City police commissioner #41 (since Jan. 1, 2002) Raymond Walter Kelly (1941-) utters the soundbyte: "The Internet is the new Afghanistan", citing its use by al-Qaida for recruitment and training, taking advantage of the lack of Westerners who can understand Arabic. On Aug. 15 in Myanmar the raising of fuel prices as much as 500% by the govt. causes citizen protests, launching the Saffron Rev., inspired by Aung San Suu Kyi, which begins as 500 mainly young male Buddhist monks march in Pokokku in N Myanmar (390 mi. NW of Yangon), causing authorities to fire warning shots and beat some of them up; on Sept. 6 the monks take some govt. officials hostage and demand apologies, and the protest spreads throughout Myanmar; on Sept. 22 2K monks march in Yangon in N Myanmar to defy the military junta, along with 10K in Mandalay, passing the house of Aung San Suu Kyi, who appears at her gate (where she is under house arrest) and accepts their blessings; on Sept. 23 150 nuns join in Yangon, along with 15K monks and laymen; on Sept. 24-26 30K-100K, incl. 10K monks stage a pro-democracy protest, which is brutally crushed by troops, who kill up to 200; meanwhile other protests go on in 25 other cities, causing the govt. to move Ain't You So Ashamed Kids to Insein Prison, and impose dusk-dawn curfews starting Sept. 26, then begin arresting hundreds of monks on Sept. 27, which doesn't stop 50K from protesting in Yangon, which troops deal with by hosing them down with insecticide spray, after which the protests stop; on Sept. 27 Japanese photographer Kenji Nagai (b. 1957) is shot and killed in the street like a dog by troops, continuing to take photos as he lies bleeding on the ground, causing Japanese PM Yasuo Fukuda to demand a full explanation; in Sept. U.N. under-secy.-gen. (since 2005) Ibahim Agboola Gambari (1944-) of Nigeria is appointed special U.N. envoy to Myanmar; on Oct. 31 they try it again in Pakkoku, but are down to 100 monks; on Nov. 26 hundreds of monks march against the Myanmar regime in safer Patna, India. On Aug. 16 Jose Padilla (1970-), an American arrested at a Chicago airport on May 8, 2002 carrying $10K in cash and a cell phone loaded with al-Qaida e-mail addresses is found guilty of terrorist conspiracy, getting life in priz for plotting to kidnap, maim, and murder unspecified people overseas - a railroad job? On Aug. 19 Dem. candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joseph Biden, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd, and Mike Gravel (of Alaska) debate at Drake U. in Iowa, and George Stephanopoulos presses Joseph Biden on a recent quote that Barack Obama isn't ready and that "the presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training", and he replies "I stand by that statement"; in May 2008 in an interview with Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week", he says "That was a year ago; he's learned a hell of a lot." On Aug. 20 an overcrowded bus plunges off a road in the rain in Laghuwa Village in W Nepal, killing 25 and injuring 40. On Aug. 24-28 wildfires in S Greece kill 60, threatening Olympia, site of the ancient Olympics. On Aug. 26 the $95M 349-ft. aluminum-hulled catamaran Hawaii Superferry makes its maiden run from Honolulu Harbor in Honolulu to Kahului Harbor in Maui despite protests from environmentalists, carrying 500 passengers and 150 cars in a 3-hour trip, with a max. cap. of 866 passengers and 282 subcompact cars; on Oct. 9 a Maui judge halts it pending environmental studies; on Oct. 31 the Hawaiian legislature votes to overrule all court decisions to allow it to resume service, which begins in Dec.; too bad, on Mar. 16, 2009 the Hawaiian Supreme Court rules the law unconstitutional, and the co. goes bankrupt, selling its ships Alakai and Huakai to the U.S. Navy at a steep loss. On Aug. 27 MTV announces that they're making gay bud John Ashbery (1927-2017) their first poet laureate. On Aug. 28 two rival Shiite militias run by Muqtada al-Sadr and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council shoot it out in Karbala, Iraq, killing 51. On Aug. 28 Abdullah Gul (Gül) (1949-) of the Justice and Development Party becomes pres. #11 of Turkey (until ?), becoming the first non-secular Muslim pres. in 84 years, breaking the grip of the secular establishment after a 4-mo. political standoff backed by the military, which stands up his swearing-in ceremony; Turkey takes a turn toward re-Islamization; his wife Haynrunnisa Gul wears a headscarf - attaboy says Osama? On Aug. 30 anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada la-Sadr takes his Shiite Mahdi Army out of action for 6 mo. to overhaul it - overhaul the Shiite out of it? On Aug. 30 Pakistani pres. Pervez Musharraf agrees to resign as army chief in a deal allowing him to serve another term if reelected and allow Benazir Bhutto to return and run for PM. In Aug. 2007 Hong Kong-born major Hillary Clinton pres. campaign backer ("HillRaiser") Norman Yung Yuen Hsu (1951) is exposed by the Wall Street Journal for financial irregularities, and in Sept. the U.S. Justice Dept. begins investigating; on Aug. 31 after a warrant for a 1992 fraud conviction is finally served, he makes a $2M bail payment, then skips and is arrested on Sept. 6 in Grand Junction, Colo. in a Calif. Zephyr train headed for Chicago; on Jan. 4, 2008 he is sentenced to three years in jail; on Sept. 19 the feds charge him with running a Ponzi scheme; on Nov. 27 a federal grand jury in Manhattan indicts him for defrauding investors of $20M and violating federal campaign finance laws; on May 7, 2009 he pleads guilty to 10 counts of mail and wire fraud, and is sentenced to 24 years in prison, with release date on Aug. 12, 2030. On Sept. 2 (Labor Day Weekend) U.S. Sen. (R-Idaho) (since 1991) Larry Edwin Craig (1945-) resigns after his political support erodes when he reveals that he pled guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with a bathroom stall incident on June 11 in Minneapolis-St. Paul Internat. Airport, where his big crime is making come-hither noises to an undercover cop in the next stall, all without any overt sexual activity or propositioning (yet), which the officer believed to be gay cottaging; in 1983 he went on NBC News to deny allegations that he had sex with teenage male congressional pages, and again vehemently denies that he's gay, but pled guilty then publicly reneges, and the public doesn't buy it; meanwhile eight men incl. Mike Jones claim he has paid them to have sex with him - I just like a little white meat snack now and then? On Sept. 3 (Labor Day) Pres. Bush makes a surprise visit to Iraq and holds an 8-hour meeting with Iraqi leaders at a military base in Anbar province in a Sunni area, raising the possibility of U.S. troop cuts if security continues to improve, stealing the thunder from the Dems.; his previous trips were Thanksgiving 2003 and June 13, 2006; meanwhile the British abandon Basra, their last outpost in Iraq. On Sept. 3 Argyll, Scotland-born Moira Cameron becomes the first female British Beefeater (Yeoman Warder) since 1485. On Sept. 4 Category 5 Hurricane Felix hits Nicaragua's Mosquito Coast, weakening to Category 1; meanwhile Category 1 Tropical Depression Henriette hits Baja, Calif. On Sept. 4 justice for cops hits a new low when William J. Barnes (1936-), who shot rookie cop Walter Barkley in 1966 and went to prison until 2005 for it is rearrested when paraplegic Barnes dies on Aug. 19, 41 years after being shot, the justice-to-the-cop prosecutors claiming to link his death to his wounds, slapping a new charge of murder of a sacred cow cop on the old dude. On Sept. 6 Israeli planes attack the secret North Korean-designed Syrian Al-Kubar nuclear reactor near Deir al-Zor, and are allowed to overfly Turkish airspace; in Mar. 2018 they admit they did it, calling it a warning to Iran. On Sept. 8 a truck filled with 200 Baba Ramdev pilgrims falls into a gorge in Rajasthan, India, killing 85 and injuring 60+. On Sept. 9 former Panamianian dictator Manuel Noriega is released from prison in Miami, Fla. after receiving time off for good behavior on his 30-year sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering; he plans to return to Panama to fight two 20-year sentences for the 1985 decapitation of dissident leader Hugo Spadafora and the 1989 slaying of Maj. Moises Giroldi, who tried to overthrow him. On Sept. 10 MoveOn.org runs a full-page ad in the New York Times assailing U.S. Gen David Petraeus, calling him "General Betray Us" on the day he begins his testimony in front of the U.S. Congress. On Sept. 11 Ethiopia celebrates the beginning of the Third Ethiopian Millennium. On Sept. 12 oil prices reach a record $80 a barrel, although after adjusting for inflation they still don't top the $100.52 a barrel reached in Dec. 1979. On Sept. 13 Japanese PM Shinzo Abe (since 2006) announces his resignation and checks into a hospital for stress-related stomach problems after a fiasco involving 50M misfiled pension records caused his Liberal Dem. Party to suffer a crushing midsummer defeat in the upper house of parliament; on Sept. 25 dovish moderate former oil co. man Yasuo Fukuda (1936-), new leader of the Liberal Dem. Party becomes PM of Japan (until Sept. 1, 2008), and promises not to do the bad thing of visiting the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo and to tone down nationalist rhetoric while strengthening ties with the China and cultivate its relationship with the U.S. On Sept. 14 London-based Opinion Research Business pub. an estimate of 1.2M total war casualties in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion; the techniques used are Alice in Wonderland moose hockey? On Sept. 16 the Blackwater Massacre sees guards working for Blackwater Worldwide shoot at Iraqi civilians as they try to drive away from Nisoor Square in Baghdad, murdering them at will, killing 14 and wounding 18, then trying to cover it up until U.S. soldiers arrive and find the corpses unarmed, causing Pres. Bush to begin seeking a way to expel them from Iraq; on Dec. 8, 2008 five guards surrender to authorities to face criminal charges; Blackwater is banned from Iraq, and changes its name to Xe; too bad, in Aug. it is revealed that Blackwater operatives were allowed to remain armed in Iraq under the name "U.S. Training Center"; on Mar. 2, 2009 Blackwater founder Erik D. Prince (1969-) resigns, and on Aug. 3 a former Blackwater employee and ex-Marine submits testimony linking him to murders to obstruct a federal investigation into the massacre, and alleges that Prince, a fundamentalist Christian "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with elmiminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe". On Sept. 16 O.J. Simpson (1947-) is arrested without bail on armed robbery charges in Las Vegas, Nev. after barging into a friend's $35-a-night room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino to get back sports memorabilia he believed belonged to him, and two of the five men in his party brandish pistolas cowboy style; the district atty. seizes on the chance to turn black white and white black by charging him with hiring criminal thugs to steal memorabilia in broad daylight (when we all know he does his real crimes under cover of darkness and in disguise) in order to gain publicity and political capital, when everybody knows that in the Am. West the bad guys are the ones with the stolen goods and going after them with a gun to get it all back has always been protected by the law?; on Oct. 4, 2008 he is convicted by a jury of nine women and three men of 12 counts incl. felony kidnaping and armed robbery after a 4-week farce trial during which media tent set aside for the rush is virtually deserted, guaranteeing the jury can find him guilty of anything for payback on the Nicole Simpson case and later have the judge deny it; four of his five accomplices are offered no-jail plea deals to help frame, er, prosecute him, and the 5th, O.J.'s golfing buddy Clarence Stewart (1954-) is convicted; on Dec. 5, 2008 O.J. gets 9-33 years in priz - how are you dealing with the loneliness? On Sept. 17 Michael Bernard Mukasey (1941-) (Jewish, born of Russian immigrants) is nominated by Pres. Bush for U.S. atty.-gen. #81, and on Nov. 9 takes office after refusing to deny that waterboarding of suspects will be used. On Sept. 17 U. of Fla. student Andrew Meyer is ambushed, attacked, and tasered by univ. police at a John Kerry speaking event after Kerry points to him to speak, the Gestapo-like scene and his lack of backbone to stand up to pigs stinking his name up; meanwhile the U.S. govt. closes ranks to justify the abuse and keep the pigs getting their paychecks by claiming they taped him in the police car stating he was glad they did it to him and violated his civil rights like a serf? On Sept. 18 economist-diplomat Srgjan Asan Kerim (1948-) of Macedonia becomes pres. of the U.N. Gen. Assembly (until Sept. 16, 2008). On Sept. 24 Iranian pres. Imadinnajacket makes a speech at Columbia U., where he utters the soundbyte "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country", praising capital punishment for them there, raising howls and boos from the audience. On Sept. 24 the sitcom The Big Bang Theory debuts on CBS-TV (until ?), starring John Mark "Johnny" Galecki (1975-) and James Joseph "Jim" Parsons (1973-) as Caltech physicist roommates Leonard Hofstadter (IQ 173, experimental physicist) and Sheldon Cooper (IQ 187, theoretical physicist) (known for the catchphrase "bazinga"), and Kaley Christine Cuoco (1985-) as dumbe blond waitress Penny, who lives across the hall; Simon Maxwell Helberg (1980-) plays MIT engineer Howard Wolowitz, and Kunal Nayyar (1981-) plays astrophysicist Kunal Nayyar. On Sept. 28 French Jewish Socialist economist Dominique Strauss-Kahn (1949-) becomes managing dir. #10 of the IMF (until ?). On Sept. 30 Garry Kasparov enters the Russian pres. race, receiving 379 of 498 votes at the Other Russia Congress in Moscow. In the fall San Francisco, Calif.-born fashion designer Alexander Wang (1983-) launches his first ready-to-wear women's clothing collection, which is a hit, selling in 700 stores worldwide; he goes on to become known for his urban designs, mostly in black. By Oct. 1 news of yet more terrorist attacks in Iraq get so boring and monotonous that they are no longer worth listing except as yearly statistics? On Oct. 2 the U.S. and Russia sign an agreement to cooperate on unmanned missions to search for water on the Moon and Mars. On Oct. 3 100K attend the Arirang Festival in Pyongyang, North Korea, while Kim Jong-il and South Korean pres. Roh Mooh-Hyun sign a reconciliation pact pledging to seek a permanent peace agreement to end the 54-y.-o. ceasefire; on Oct. 2 Jong-il vows to shut down North Korea's nuclear reactor. On Oct. 3 Polish ambassador to Iraq Gen. Edward Pietrzyk (1949-) is wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Baghdad; his driver is killed. On Oct. 3 Barrack Obama is quizzed about why he no longer wears a U.S. flag pin like he wore shortly after 9/11, and on Oct. 4 he tells a crowd in Waterloo, Iowa: "My attitude is that I'm less concerned about what you're wearing on your lapel than what's in your heart." On Oct. 3 former Northwestern U. basketball star Anucha Browne Sanders, who was fired as marketing exec. by the New York Knicks in Dec. 2003 wins a $11.6M sexual harassment lawsuit against them and "foul-mouthed bully" coach Isiah Lord "Zeke" Thomas III (1961-); Madison Square Garden is assessed $11.5M in punitive damages - a game that women play with men? On Oct. 4 after being convicted for refusing to pay U.S. federal income tax, then refusing to surrender and engaging in a long armed standoff with authorities at their N.H. home, Edward Lewis "Ed" Brown (1942-) and Elaine Alice Brown (1940-) are arrested, becoming a rallying point for tax protesters; in July 2009 the mean feds tack on more sentences for the standoff. On Oct. 4 car bombs and IEDs kill top Shiite official Abbas Hassan Hamza of the mixed Iskandariyah district S of Baghdad and Sunni Sheik Muawiya Naji Jbara. On Oct. 6 Pakistani forces begin bombing insurgent hideouts in NW Pakistan, killing 250, incl. 45 soldiers in four days. On Oct. 8 a heli carrying aides of Pakistani pres. Pervez Musharraf crashes, killing four; it is blamed on a technical glitch not terrorists. On Oct. 8 a suicide bomber crashes his truck into a police station in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 13; other car bombings in Iraq kill 11 more. On Oct. 8 British PM Gordon Brown announces that troops in Iraq will be cut from 5.5K to 2.5K by spring. On Oct. 8 Afghanistan ends a 3-year moratorium and executes 15 prisoners by firing squad. On Oct. 8 Interpol makes public an image of suspected Canadian pedophile Christopher Paul Neil (1975-) obtained by unscrambling the dope's picture, which he uploaded to the Internet after doing a half-assed job of scrambling it; after an internat. search he is arrested on Oct. 19. On Oct. 11 Am. conservative columnist Ann Hart Coulter (1961-) shocks a cable TV show with a statement that Jews need to be "perfected" by accepting Jesus, and that the U.S. would be better off if everybody were Christian. On Oct. 12 the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize is awarded jointly to U.S. vice-pres. #45 (1993-2001) Albert Arnold Gore Jr. (1948-) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chmn. (2002-15) Rajendra Kumar Pachauri (1940-), "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change"; they accept it on Dec. 10. On Oct. 14 after she wins season #3 of "Food Network Star" (first female winner), The Gourmet Next Door debuts on Food Network for six episodes (until Dec. 23, 2007), hosted by San Diego, Calif.-born chef (Ecole Gregoire-Ferrandi graduate) Amy Finley (1973-); too bad, she bugs out to save her failing marriage and moves with her hubby and children to a farm in Burgundy, France, chronicling it in her memoir How to Eat a Small Country (Apr. 2011). On Oct. 14 after her 2003 sex tape with beau Ray J and friendship with Paris Hilton adds to the celebrity of father Robert Kardashian (O.J. Simpson's atty.), the reality TV series Keeping Up with Kardashians debuts on E! for 234 episodes (until ?), produced by Ryan Seacrest, focusing on the publicity-loving Kardashian sisters Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe, their brother Rob, mother Kris Jenner, and stepfather Bruce Jenner; Khloe's ex-husband Lamar Odom joins the 4th season cast. On Oct. 16 Ellen Degeneres makes a tearful plea for her ex-pet Iggy, whom was taken back by the pet adoption agency on Oct. 14, and is placed in a new home; too bad, it backfires when viewers begin harassing the shelter. On Oct. 18 the biggest strike in 12 years cripples France's public transport system; the same day French pres. Nicolas Sarkozy announces his divorce from wife Cecilia Ciganer-Albéniz (1957-) after 11 years (1996), becoming a first for a French pres. On Oct. 18 former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto returns to Karachi amid joyous celebrations, which are spoiled by an assassination attempt that kills 100+ and injures 150; after terrorism spreads to major cities, on Nov. 3 pres. Pervez Musharaf declares martial law, citing U.S. pres. Abraham Lincoln's actions during the U.S. Civil War - while he was reading about it, he comes on that Ford's Theater thingie and gets ideas? On Oct. 18 U.S. Rep. (since 1973) Fortney Hillman "Pete" Stark Jr. (1931-) (D-Calif.) blasts Pres. Bush on the House floor, uttering the soundbyte "You don't need money to fund the war on children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people, if we could get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement"; after the Repubs. try to make him apologize, a CNN poll shows 88% think there's no reason he should. On Oct. 19 Pres. George W. Bush is assassinated in Chicago, Ill. as he leaves a hotel where he gave a speech to a bipartisan group, according to the 2006 film Death of a President, dir. by Gabriel Range for Britain's Channel 4. On Oct. 19 Colo. Panty Thief Chih Hsien Wu (1964-) pleads guilty to stealing 1.3K sheer woo-woo-woo panties, bras, and hose from campus laundry rooms at Colo. State U. in Ft. Collins. On Oct. 19 Luc Margueritte, new beau of French woman Celine Lesage (1971-) discovers the corpses of six newborn babies in her apartment that she murdered since 2000; she is sentenced to 15 years in prison. On Oct. 21 nearly a dozen wildfires driven by Santa Ana winds spread aross Southern Calif., threatening the homes of the rich and beautiful - yawn? On Oct. 21 the U.S. military claims it killed 49 militants in a dawn raid in Sadr City, while Iraqi oficials whittle it down to 15 incl. three innocent children - yawn? On Oct. 22 Turkey builds up its troops on the Iraq border after Kurdish guerrillas kill 12 Turkish soldiers and capture eight. On Oct. 23 a U.S. heli opens fire on five men seen planting roadside bombs in a Sunni area N of Baghdad, Iraq, then continues to fire after they run into a home, killing 11 incl. five women and a child. On Oct. 23 Pakistani troops are sent to the lawless region of NW Pakistan to quell pro-Taliban militants; on Oct. 25 a suicide car bomber strucks a military truck, killing 20. On Oct. 24 China launches the Chang'e-1 lunar-orbiting spacecraft, which in Sept. 2010 obtains the first microwave image of the complete Moon. On Oct. 24-28 the 103rd (2007) World Series sees the Colorado Rockies (first-ever appearance) skunked by the Boston Red Sox 4-0; Rockies mgr. Clint Hurdle (1957-) turned the team (one of the lowest paying in the ML) around in mid-season by recruiting three underpaid wetback, er, Latin Am. pitchers, Ubaldo Jimenez (Dominican Repub.), Manny Corpas (Panama), and Franklin Morales (Venezuela), winning 21 of 22 to get to the WS (proving that U.S boys are getting too lazy to practice, preferring video games?). On Oct. 27-Nov. 2 Hurricane Noel rocks the Caribbean, killing 151, becoming the deadliest hurricane (#6) of the 2007 season. On Oct. 30 the U.S. Congress passes a bill extending the moratorium on taxing Internet access for seven years. On Oct. 31 "Russia's Osama bin Laden" Dokka (Doku) Khamatovich Umarov (1964-), who since 2006 has been the underground pres. of the self-proclaimed Checken Repub. of Ichkeria becomes the self-proclaimed emir #1 of the Caucasus Emirate (until ?). In Oct. China launches its first lunar-probing satellite, which broadcasts 30 different songs back to Earth, incl. "I Love China", "The East is Red", and "Singing Praises of the Motherland"; on Nov. 26 China unveils images of the Moon taken by the satellite, causing PM Wen Jiabao to utter the soundbyte: "The full success of our country's first lunar exploration mission is helping to turn the Chinese nation's 1,000-year-old dream of reaching the Moon a reality." In Oct. the Pentagon asks Congress for $88M to build the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), a 15-ton $5M bunker buster bomb designed to hit targets buried 200 ft. below ground, such as Iran's nuclear facilities. In Oct. U.S. troops find the Sinjar Records in Sinjar on the Iraqi-Syrian border, detailing Syrian financing of al-Qaida in Iraq in order to undermine coalition efforts. In Oct. the U.S. sends two senior diplomats to London to meet with reps of India's Bollywood to ask them to work to fight against radicalization of British Muslims; revealed by WikiLeaks in Nov. 2010. On Nov. 1 tens of thousands of students protest in Caracas, Venezuela a gainst a proposed removal of term limits for pres. Hugo Chavez, chanting "Freedom! Freedom!", causing soldiers to hit them with tear gas, plastic bullets and water cannon. On Nov. 5 members of the Writer's Guild of Am. go on strike over the refusal of Hollywood to give them a fair share of royalties from DVDs and Internet income; it ends on Feb. 12, 2008 after 100 days. On Nov. 5 a landslide in Ostuacan, Mexico kills 19. On Nov. 6 2-y.-o. Lakshmi, born with a parasitic twin giving her four arms and four legs undergoes a 24-hour operation in Bangalore, India to remove the extra limbs; her resemblance to the Hindu goddess Lakshmi (Mahalakshmi), consort of Vishnu causes villagers to worship her as a god. On Nov. 7 protesters in Tbilisi, Georgia call for the ouster of pro-U.S. pres. Mikheil Saakashvili, who declares a state of emergency and clamps down on news broadcasts. On Nov. 7 Pelindaba Reactor in South Africa is attacked by terrorists, who are stopped before they can make off with highly enriched bomb-grade uranium. On Nov. 7 millions of units of the Chinese-made toy Aqua Dots are pulled from U.S. shelves after they are found to contain a chemical that converts into GHB, the date rape drug, and have caused seizures and comas in children. On Nov. 7 American and Iraqi officials announce that the drop in violence in Iraq ccaused by the U.S. troop increase has caused 46K refugees to cross back over the border. On Nov. 7 Space Shuttle Discovery (launched Oct. 23) returns to Earth after a 15-day mission that featured a tricky repair of a damaged solar wing on the ISS. On Nov. 8 a report issued by the U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs states that vets make up 11% of the gen. adult pop., and 25% of homeless people. On Nov. 8 Bernard Bailey "Bernie" Kerik (1955-) is indicted by a federal grand jury on 16 charges of fraud and lying to the IRS, embarrassing his long-time friend Rudy Giuliani, who appointed him New York City police commissioner in 2000-1, and Pres. Bush, who nominated him for homeland security secy. in Dec. 2004. On Nov. 10 King Juan Carlos tells Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to "shut up" after he refers to Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar as a fascist. On Nov. 10 six U.S. soldiers walking in the mountains of E Afghanistan are ambushed and killed by militants, raising the U.S. death toll in Afghanistan to 101, surpassing the record of 93 in 2005 and 87 in 2006. On Nov. 10 a gun battle between rival Sunni insurgents outside Samarra, Iraq kills 20. On Nov. 10 neo-Nazis try to march in the Jewish quarter of Prague, clashing with anti-Nazis, resulting in 80 arrests by a ton of police. On Nov. 10 the $1.75M Yasser Arafat Mausoleum in Ramallah, West Bank opens. On Nov. 10 Donda West, mother of rapper Kanye West dies from complications after cosmetic surgery by Beverly Hills surgeon January "Dr. Jan" Rudalgo Adams. On Nov. 11 a Russian-owned cargo ship runs around in the stormy Black Sea and breaks apart, threatening 30K birds and countless fish. On Nov. 11 former U.S. deputy secy. of state Richard Armitage finally admits that it was foolish for him to expose the CIA identity of Valerie Plame; a year earlier he publicly apologized, and remains the only one to do so of the Big Four, incl. Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and Ari Fleischer. On Nov. 12 Barack Obama's campaign Web site carries a statement titled "Barack Obama is Not and Has Never Been a Muslim", followed by "Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian." On Nov. 12 U.S. congressional Dems. pub. The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War, which concludes that the economic cost to the U.S. of the Iraq and Afghan Wars so far totals approx. $1.5T. On Nov. 12 the Brookings Inst. announces that its 30-year study of the U.S. Black-White Income Gap has shown the gap increasing, although income for white women has increased 400% - time for an African-Am. president? On Nov. 13 Lebanese-born FBI agent (Druze) Nada Nadim Prouty (1970-) pleads guilty to fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship and other hokey, er, serious charges despite claiming her loyalty and service in the fight against terrorism, becoming a cause celebre despite her brother-in-law Talal Khalil Chaine being a known financier of Hezbollah, and that she was suspected of accessing FBI and CIA databases to tip him off to investigations on his activities. On Nov. 14 North Korean PM Kim Jong-Il arrives in Seoul for his first talks in 15 years with South Korean PM Han Duk-soo. On Nov. 14 Iraqi authorities seize the HQ of the Assoc. of Muslim Scholars, Iraq's most influential Sunni clerical group, accusing it of supporting Wahhabi Sunni al-Qaida. On Nov. 15 Pakistani officials lift the house arrest of Benazir Bhutto hours before the arrival of a senior U.S. envoy. On Nov. 16 U.S. Senate Repubs. block a bill by Dems. that would release $50B for the Iraq War, tied to troop withdrawals beginning within 30 days, causing Dem. leaders to announce that they will sit on Pres. Bush's $196B request for war spending until next year. On Nov. 16 Sen. John Kerry announces that he has accepted an offer from Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens to pay $1M to anyone who can disprove a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, after which he quietly drops it? On Nov. 16 29 members of the True Russian Orthodox Church cult led by Pyotr Kuznetsov (1964-) holing up in a forest cave hideout near the Volga River village of Nikolskoye (400 mi. SE of Moscow), where they believe the world will end by next May tell authorities that if they try to evict them they will commit suicide; on Apr. 3, 2008 Kuznetsov attempts suicide after allegedly realizing that his predictions were wrong; the cult prohibits processed food and considers barcodes to be satanic symbols. On Nov. 17 30+ bodies are found in an unfinished house in W Baghdad, Iraq in the heavily Sunni Hur Rijab section of the Dora neighborhood. On Nov. 19 a suicide bomber targeting a provisional gov. kills seven in Kandahar, Afghanistan, incl. the gov.'s 25-y.-o. son and six police officers, injuring 14. On Nov. 19 Iraqi troops detain 43, most of them Sri Lankans in a convoy run by a U.S.-contracted firm after an Iraqi woman is wounded in a Baghdad shooting involving their vehicles. On Nov. 21 the British govt. announces the loss of CDs containing ID data on 25M Britons, potentially threatening them with financial ruin. On Nov. 21 the three young men previously detained as suspects in the disappearance of Am. teenager Natalee Holloway are rearrested, then released, after which the police officially close the case - so on such a small island, where did she go, and where are all them self-proclaimed psychics when you need them? On Nov. 21 a suicide car bomber kills six and wounds 22 in a police checkpoint outside the courthouse in Ramadi, Iraq. On Nov. 21 Russian pres. Vladimir Putin gives a speech calling his critics foreign-funded "jackals" and accusing the West of meddling in Russian politics; on Nov. 24 half-Armenian half-Jewish former Russian chess champ (1985-2000) Garry Kasparov (1963-) et al. are arrested at an anti-Putin march in Moscow a week before the parliamentary election; on Nov. 29 Kasparov is released from jail, warning the U.S. that Russia is sliding into a dictatorship under Putin. On Nov. 24 suicide bombs explose simultaneously outside two military compounds in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, killing 16. On Nov. 26 British teacher Gillian Gibbons (1953-) from Liverpool is arrested in Khartoum, Sudan for naming a teddy bear Muhammad at the request of her 7-.y.-o. students, thereby insulting Islam's candy-striper prophet somehow, even though about half of Muslim males are named Muhammad? (oh yes, they usually use a loophole by spelling it Mohammed or Mohammad?); despite an internat. outcry she is convicted and sentenced to 15 days and deportation, the usual 40 lashes suspended; after true blue Muslims stink themselves up by calling for her execution, she is finally pardoned after apologizing - now she can really diss the M Guy? On Nov. 26 Pres. Bush welcomes his old rival Al Gore to the White House for a photo op with Nobel Prize Winners, and they have a 30-min. private conversation; "Of course we talked about global warming the whole time" (Gore). On Nov. 27 Somalian immigrant Nuradin Abdi is sentenced to 10 years in prison for plutting to blow up a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio with al-Qaida in 2002 with truck driver Iyman Faris (Mohammad Rauf) (1969-) who pled guilty in 2003 and got 20 years for plotting to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge, and al-Qaida cell member Christopher Paul of Columbus, who was charged in Apr. with a plot to bomb Euro tourist resorts and U.S. military bases. On Nov. 27 the U.S.-led Annapolis Conference in Md. between Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Nat. Authority pres. Mahmoud Abbas sees Olmert propose to give the Palestinians 97% of the West Bank and the entire Gaza Strip and let them have their own independent state in return for recognizing Israel, which Abbas rejects, insisting instead on the so-called right of return of all Palestinians to Israel, which would swamp the Jews out and let them take over by squatting, in other words, a non-starter. On Nov. 28 after tons of pressure by the U.S., Pervez Musharaf resigns as army chief in return for a new 5-year term as civilian pres. of pistol-packin' Pakistan - see you at the show? On Nov. 28 NATO admits that its warplanes mistakenly bombed an Afghan road construction crew sleeping in tents, killing 14 workers while hunting Taliban fighters in E Afghanistan. On Nov. 28 Saudi Arabia announces the arrest of 208 suspected terrorists in six cells, its largest terrorism sweep to date. On Nov. 28 about 6K Sunni Arab residents join a security pact with U.S. forces, agreeing to man 200 checkpoints for $275 a mo. each. On Nov. 29 a group of disaffected military officers in Manila, Philippines take over a swank hotel, demanding that the pres. quit, then give up when the people don't flock to their cause; funny, the same thing happened in 2003 a few blocks away? On Nov. 30 Atlasjet Flight 4203 crashes shortly before landing in C Turkey, killing all 56 aboard. On Nov. 30 Leeland Eisenberg (1931-) walks into a Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, N.H. wearing what he claims is a bomb, and takes several hostages, demanding to speak to her about access to mental health care; after he surrenders, the device strapped to his chest turns out to be road flares - but he gets what he wants and becomes the first to beat the famed Catch-22? On Nov. 30 Amtrak Train #371 ("Pere Marquette") plows into a freight train near Chicago, Ill, injuring 14 of 187 passengers. In Nov.-Dec. Egyptian Muslim cleric Sayyed Imam al-Sharif (1950-), whose 1988 book "The Essential Guide for Preparation" became the bible for jihadists incl. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, calling jihad the natural state of Islam because Muslims must always be at war with unbelievers, with the soundbyte: "The real objective was not victory over the Soviets but martyrdom and eternal salvation", and who has been imprisoned in Yemen since 9/11, suddenly flip-flops in prison, pub. "Document of Right Guidance for Jihad Activity in Egypt and the World", claiming that the Quran actually prohibits most forms of terrorism, with the soundbyte: "There is nothing that invokes the anger of God and His wrath like the unwarranted spilling of blood and wrecking of property", adding: "Oh, you young people, do not be deceived by the heroes of the Internet, the leaders of the microphones, who are launching statements inciting the youth while living under the protection of intelligence services, or of a tribe, or in a distant cave or under political asylum in an infidel country. They have thrown many others before you into the infernos, graves, and prisons", and "God permitted peace treaties and ceasefires with the infidels, either in exchange for money or without it, all of this in order to protect the Muslims, in contrast with those who push them into peril"; too bad, al-Qaida blows him off and continues their jihad, with plenty of Islamic clerics backing them up. On Dec. 1 Pres. Bush writes a Personal Letter to Mr. Chairman (North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il), urging him to fully disclose his nuclear programs by year's end, which is seen as a turnaround in his labeling of his regime as part of an axis of evil. On Dec. 2 elections in Venezuela reject Hugo Chavez' attempt to be elected pres. for life, causing celebrations in the streets. On Dec. 3 Labor leader (since 2006) Kevin Michael Rudd (1957-) becomes PM #26 of Australia (until June 24, 2010); after given an inflammatory speech praising jihad, Muslim cleric Sheik Feiz Mohammed of Sydney, Australia is told by PM Kevin Rudd that he is "not welcome here"; he also denounced Jews as "pigs"; in Mar. 2011 he is allowed to return. On Dec. 5 white teen Robert Hawkins (b. 1988) goes on a shooting spree in the Von Maur Shopping Mall near Omaha, Neb., killing eight plus himself - take your eight and check out, the American way? On Dec. 5 U.S. defense secy. Robert Gates visits Baghdad to meet with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, and tells reporters in the Green Zone that safety and security for Iraq are within reach; too bad, minutes before he says this, a car bomb in nearby Karrada (a middle-class area with Christians) kills eight and injures 38, becoming the deadliest Baghdad blast since Sept. On Dec. 5 Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej (b. 1917) celebrates his 80th birthday wearing pink, chucking the traditional royal yellow, causing a run on pink stuff in Thai stores. On Dec. 6 Moron, er, Mormon Repub. pres. candidate Mitt Romney does a JFK and gives a Religion-Qualifying Speech at the George Bush Pres. Library in Tex., saying "If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States", but admitting "My convictions will indeed inform my presidency"; meanwhile a Pew Research Center poll shows that 31% of Americans don't think that Mormons are Christians, and another 17% don't know - the real question is, was Christ a Mormon? On Dec. 6 a Los Angeles Times poll finds that nearly six out of every 10 U.S. military families disapprove of Pres. Bush's job performance and the way he has run the war, and say it was not worth the cost - so why did they go if they weren't drafted? On Dec. 8 Pentagon chief Robert Gates calls Iran a fomenter of "chaos... everywhere you turn", demanding that it renounce nukes. On Dec. 9 (12:30 a.m.) after being refused an overnight stay at the Youth with a Mission Center, Matthew John Murray (b. 1983) shoots four people, killing two, then drives 100 mi. S and shoots five more, killing one at New Life Church in Colo. Springs, then committing suicide after being shot several times by security guard Jeanne Assam; he had posted on the Internet newsgroup alt.suicide.holiday under the name "dyingchild_65", saying "I'm going to make a stand for the weak and the defenseless... for all those young people still caught in the Nightmare of Christianity... for all those people who've been abused and mistreated and taken advantage of by this evil sick religion", explaining that his mother tries to keep him from popular music and video games, then posting Eric Harris' words "I'm coming for everyone soon and I will be armed to the teeth and I will shoot to kill" 11 hours after the first shooting and two hours before the 2nd. On Dec. 10 Aqsa "Axa" Parvez (b. 1991) is killed by her father and brother, who then turn themselves into police; the PC press tries in vain to coverup that it is an Islamic honor killing for becoming too Westernized. On Dec. 10 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 7-2 in Kimbrough v. U.S. that federal district judges may impose sentences outside the federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenses. On Dec. 13 the Treaty of Lisbon (Reform Treaty) is signed in Lisbon, Portugal, changing the workings of the European Union (EU) to make it more streamlined. On Dec. 13 the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee votes 12-7 to find Karl Rove and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoenas seeking their testimony about the phunny munny dismissal of nine U.S. attys. in 2006. On Dec. 18 after a campaign launched by the Hands off Cain Assoc. in Italy, the non-binding U.N. Gen. Assembly Resolution 62/149 (104-54-29) adopts the U.N. Moratorium on the Death Penalty; it is followed by U.N. Gen. Assembly Resolution 63/168 on Dec. 18, 2008 (106-46-34), and U.N. Gen. Assembly Resolution 65/206 on Dec. 21, 2010 (109-41-35). On Dec. 18 U.N. Gen. Assembly Resolution 62/167 is adopted by a 22-59-10 vote, expressing serious concern about grave widespread human rights violations in North Korea and urging the govt. to man up. On Dec. 18 after being introduced by U.S. Rep. (D-W.V.) (1977-2015) Nick Joe Rahall II (1949-) and promoted by Dem. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Energy Independence and Security Act (Clean Energy Act) of 2007) is passed by Congress, and signed on Dec. 19 by Pres. George W. Bush after announcing the Twenty in Ten challenge, to reduce gasoline consumption by 20% in 10 years, with the purpose being "to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government, and for other purposes"; too bad, it promotes biofuels incl. corn and palm oil, leading to ripple effects that create fuels with nearly double the greenhouse emissions of conventional fuels? On Dec. 19 Seoul mayor (since July 1, 2002) Lee Myung-bak (1941-) AKA "the Bullzodzer" (former CEO of Hyundai Engineering and Construction, known for his recent environmental efforts) of the conservative opposition Grand Nat. Party wins the South Korean pres. election by a landslide; he is sworn-in as pres. of South Korea next Feb. 25 (until Feb. 25, 2013). On Dec. 19 Dillon Cossey (1993-) is sentenced to seven years at a juvenile facility for planning a Columbine-style attack on Plymouth Whitemarsh H.S. outside Philadelphia - when you're released you'll be better trained? On Dec. 19 the U.S. govt. announces an agreement with Japan to stop their horrible humpback whale hunt, which they began in Nov. (first since the 1960s). On Dec. 20 Pres. Bush scolds Dems. in Congress for stuffing 9.8K special interest projects into a $550B spending measure, calling it wasteful. On Dec. 20 the CIA opens its files on destruction of videos of possibly illegal interrogation of two al-Qaida suspects to Congress, leaving the latter with proof of a coverup and little else. On Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. GMT Queen (since June 1953) Elizabeth II (b. Apr. 21, 1926) becomes Britain's oldest monarch, passing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who made it to 81 years 243 days; her son Prince Charles is still not the longest-waiting royal heir to the throne. On Dec. 20 a suicide car bomber in the Shiite town of Kaanan, Iraq in Diyala Province NE of Baghdad kills a U.S. soldier plus at least 18 civilians. On Dec. 22 David Michael Satterfield (1954-), senior adviser on Iraq to Condoleezza Rice tells reporters that the Iranian govt. has decided to rein in the violent Shiite militias it supports in Iraq "at the most senior levels", which explains the sharp decrease in roadside bomb attacks over the past several mos. On Dec. 22 Israeli officials call 2007 Israel's safest year in seven years since the 2nd Palestinian uprising. On Dec. 22 Barack Obama makes a stop at the Smoky Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he is confronted by four locals who ask him straight out if he is a Muslim, to which he answers: "My father was from Kenya, and a lot of people in his village were Muslim. He didn't practice Islam. Truth is he wasn't very religious. He met my mother. My mother was a Christian from Kansas, and they married and then divorced. I was raised by my mother, so I've always been a Christian. The only connection I've had to Islam is that my grandfather on my father's side came from that country, but I've never practiced Islam... For a while, I lived in Indonesia because my mother was teaching there. And that's a Muslim country. And I went to school, but I didn't practice. But what I do think it does is it gives me insight into how these folks think, and part of how I think we can create a better relationship with the Middle East and that would help make us safer is if we can understand how they think about issues"; also "I'm a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ and have been there 15 years"; when a woman asks him to define what a Christian is, he replies "Somebody who believes in Jesus Christ as our lord and savior." On Dec. 24 a 12-story bldg. in the Loran suburb of Alexandria, Egypt collapses, killing 23. On Dec. 25 350-lb. Denver Zoo-born Siberian tiger Tatiana escapes from the San Francisco Zoo and attacks two teenage brothers, killing one and severely wounding the other. On Dec. 25 two suicide bombings N of Baghdad kill 24 and injure 100. On Dec. 25 the Turkish govt. claims that its airstrikes this month destroyed 200+ Kurdish rebel targets in N Iraq and killed hundreds of insurgents. On Dec. 25 a 400-ft. steel footbridge in Chunchu, Nepal (W of Katmandu) 100 ft. over the Bheri River collapses under a huge crowd, killing 15. On Dec. 25 a South Korean ship sinks off South Korea carrying 2K tons of nitric acid, drowning 14 sailors; authorities deny that the acid poses a threat to marine life - but I saw The Host? On Dec. 25 British Lord Ahmed crashes his car on the M-1 into the stationary car of Martyn Gombar, killing him, receiving up to two years in prison; too bad, he blames his sentence on the Jews, with the soundbyte "Because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this"; he later apologizes. On Dec. 27 12 days before scheduled elections, after being released from house arrest, uppity Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in Rawalpindi as she waves to supporters from the sunroof of her armored vehicle; after shooting at her five times he throws a bomb that blows himself up and kills 20 others; the news causes riots and chaos, and causes suspicions of involvement by Musharraf, who blame the Taliban and al-Qaida; the police arrest four suspects, and claim that the bullets never hit her and the blast alone killed her; too bad, an email from her surfaces later, saying that if anything happens to her, blame it on Musharraf, causing an arrest warrant to be issued for him on Feb. 2011, causing him to live in self-exile in London; her hit was ordered and supervised by Osama bin Laden? On Dec. 27 mudslides in Indonesia kill at least 87 and force tens of thousands from their homes. On Dec. 27 after a visit by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama to back born-again Christian Raila Odinga (1945-) (former minister of public works and son of former vice-pres. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga), elections in Kenya result in a close (230K votes) V for incument pres. (since 2002) Mwai Kibaki; Odinga, backed by John McCain accuses Kibaki of fraud, causing violence to break out for the rest of the year. On Dec. 27 Western envoys Mervyn Patterson and Michael Semple of the U.K. are expelled from Afghanistan for holding meetings with Taliban leaders in Helmand Province. In Dec. after the U.S. Housing Bubble peaks in 2005-6, and subprime mortgages go into delinquincy and foreclosure, dragging down the securities they back, the Great (Global) Recession begins (ends ?). In Dec. the U.S. Sentencing Commission finally yields to pressure and equalizes sentences for black, er, crack and white, er, powder cocaine, causing the prison terms of 19.5K mainly black convicts to be reviewed for reduction. In Dec. the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Islamist umbrella group is formed in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Pakistan by 13 groups under leader Baitullah Mehsud (1974-2009), with the purpose of a Sharia state and resistance against the U.S. and NATO. In Dec. a large animal stock die-off in Kenya begins, echoing the 1997 die-off that led to Rift Valley Fever, but this time mosquito nets are distributed and religious authorities warn people against eating the animals, making the epidemic milder than the earlier one, killing only 300. In Dec. a 24-cent 1918 Inverted Jenny U.S. postage stamp goes for a record $825K at auction. Andrew Moores of Lakewood, Colo. finds a 2007 Sacagawea dollar from the Denver Mint that was mistakenly stamped with "In God We Trust" on the edge, and sells it for $10K. Genocide Land Rwanda abolishes the death penalty for all crimes incl. genocide. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Calif. settles a lawsuit by 500 victims of sexual abuse by clergy for $660M. The IRS begins investigating Microsoft Inc. for illegally selling products from its Redmond, Wash. facility to overseas subsidiaries at below-market prices in 2004-6 to reduce taxes; it doesn't settle on the amount due until ?. Scottish Muslim student Mohammed Atif Siddique (1985-) is convicted of terrorism after being found to be operating Web sites linking to documents on how to build bombs, showing images of suicide bombers and Islamic murders to fellow students; on Jan. 29, 2010 the most serious charge is overturned, and he walks - any kid can link to other sites and images? The Long War Journal is founded by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) as a blog reporting on the war on terror, with U.S. Army vet Bill Roggio as ed. The 3-year $1.4B U.S. Merida Initiative provides aid to the Mexican govt. to fight the drug trade by providing helis and training; a provision requires Congress to withhold 15% of the aid until the U.S. secy. of state reports that Mexico has made progress on human rights. U.S. Rep. (D-N.Y.) Edolphus "Ed" Towns (1934-) introduces H.R. 693, Restroom Gender Parity in Federal Bldgs. Act of 2007, requiring a 2-to-1 ratio of women's to men's restrooms - did he use a new definition of parity? The WikiLeaks Web site is founded by Australian activist journalist Julian Paul Assange (1971-) et al. to help govt. whistleblowers publicize their dirty laundry. Green for All is founded by Anthony Kapel "Van" Jones (1968-) with funding by George Soros to lobby for federal climate, energy, and economic policy initiatives. British MP (2001-8) and future London mayor (2008-16) Boris Johnson writes an article for the Daily Telegraph, titled "I want Hillary Clinton to be president", containing the soundbytes: "She's got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital"; "She represents, on the face of it, everything I came into politics to oppose: not just a general desire to raise taxes and nationalize things, but an all-round purse-lipped political correctness." This year U.S. Internet consumer sales exceed Wal-Mart's domestic sales in 2004. By the end of the year 4.1M domestic robots are in use, up 7x from 2003 (U.N. Economic Commission). China admits that it has 60M obese people; meanwhile it permits parents with surnames Zhou and Zhu to name their children Zhou, Zhu, Zhouzhu or Zhuzhou to ease the confusion of only about 100 family names in the whole nation. Hanqing Advanced Inst. of Economics and Finance in Beijing, China is founded to study Western-style economics; on Apr. 23, 2012 Matthew Shou-Chung "Matt" Shum of Caltech becomes dean. The Assoc. of Mature Am. Citizens (AMAC) is founded in New York City by Daniel Weber for people ages 50+, growing to 1M members by Oct. 2013. Early in the year Am. actor Kevin Bacon launches the Web site Sixdegrees.org to use the popularity of the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game for charity. Pastor Randy Wilson and his wife Lisa of Generations of Light ministry in Colo. Springs, Colo. launch the idea of "purity balls", where fathers and daughters dress up and glissade together as the daughters pledge chastity before marriage. Fuck those other prizes, war pays? The Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing (originally the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award until 2014) is established by the Pritzker Military Museum and Library and sponsored by the Tawani Foundation of Chicago, Ill., with a $100K prize, becoming one of the richest lit. prizes on Earth; the first winner is James M. McPherson (1936-), followed by Allan R. Millett (2008), Gerhard Ludwig Weinberg (1928-) (2009), Lawrence Rush "Rick" Atkinson IV (1952-) (2010), Carlo W. D'Este (1938-) (2011), Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings (1945-) (2012), William Timothy "Tim" O'Brien (1946-) (2013), Antony James Beevor (1946-) (2014), and David Hacket Fischer (1935-) (2015). This year U.S. congressmen obtain more than $18B worth of pork barrel "earmarks", with only 12 House and 6 Senate members declining to get some for their home states; #1 is Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), with $345M, followed by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) with $330M. Google founds REC, a co. that wants to find a way to generate renewable energy at a price lower than coal-fired electrical generation. Mariah Carey charts her 18th Billboard #1 pop single, "Touch My Body" in Apr., more than any other solo artist, passing even the King Elvis Presley. Askinosie Chocolate is founded in Springfield, Mi. by defense atty. Shawn Askinosie to make chocolate bars from 100% traceable single-origin cocoa beans from four regions: San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador; Davao, Philippines; Cortes, Honduras; and Tenende, Tanzania. Vinyl records make a comeback for a dedicated group of audiophiles (until ?). Sports: On Jan. 22 Lane Kiffin (1975-) of the USC is named head coach #16 of the Oakland Raiders, becoming the NFL's youngest head coach (31 years, 8 mo.), beating Harland Svare of the Los Angeles Rams, who was 31 years 11 mo. in 1962. On Jan. 28 (Sun.) Tiger Woods wins the Buick Invitational for a 3rd straight time, stretching his PGA Tour winning streak to seven, #2 behind Byron Nelson in 1945; his streak ends on Feb. 23 at the Accenture Match Play Championship with Nick O'Hern of Australia, the latter's 2nd win against Woods in match play. On Feb. 7 Boston, Mass.-born English-raised African-Am. retired former NBA player John Uzoma Ekwugha Amaechi (1970-) announces that he's gay, causing fellow Chicago-born African-Am. player Timothy Duane "Tim" Hardaway (1966-) to comment during a Feb. 14 interview with a sports radio show in Miami, Fla. that he would try to keep an arm's, er, distance himself from a gay player, with the soundbyte: "Well, you know I hate gay people, so I let it be known I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States", adding that he if he found he had a gay teammate he would try to get them fired, bringing out the PC police, which by this time incl. criticism from straights, with Shaquille O'Neal saying that anybody who wants to 'get' a gay player will have to go through him first, then flopping and apologizing the same day, making amends forever after? On Feb. 18 the 2007 (49th) Daytona 500 is won by Kevin Michael Harvick (1975-) by 0.02 sec. over Mark Martin in the closest finish since 1959. On Apr. 1 opening day sees 849 total players in ML baseball; 246 are born outside the U.S., 18 in Asia, and 208 in Latin Am. or the Caribbean, led by the Dominican Repub. (99), Venezuela (50), and Puerto Rico (28); only 100 (8.4%) are black, compared to 19% in 1994, causing Garry Sheffield of Detroit to comment that Latino players from outside the U.S. are preferred to blacks from inner cities because it is easier to control them; the sugar port of San Pedro de Macoris in Dominican Repub. has produced 78 of 171 ML players from DR, incl. "Macorisanos" Sammy Sosa of the Texas Rangers, Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, and Pedro Gonzalez, who signed with the Yankees in 1958. On Apr. 7, 2007 $131M Dick's Sporting Goods Park (cap. 18K) at 6000 Victory Way in Commerce City, Colo. (begun Sept. 28, 2005) opens as the home of the Colorado Rapids men's prof. soccer team. On Apr. 16 102-y.-o. Elsie McLean (1905-) hits a hole-in-one at Bidwell Municipal Golf Course in Chico, Calif., becoming the oldest person to do it (until ?). On May 5 unbeaten IBF welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. (1976-) wins a 12-round split decision against Oscar De La Hoya in "the Fight of the Ages", then retires to count his money. On May 27 (Sun.) George Dario Marino Franchitti (1973-) of Scotland wins the 2007 (91st) Indianapolis 500 after rain forces it to end after 166 laps, 415 into the scheduled 500 mi., and he outsmarts the other leaders by not pitting right before the downpour begins; Miss Sugar Britches Danica Patrick comes in #8. On May 28-June 6 the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals see the Anaheim Ducks defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-1, becoming their first win, the first West Coast team since the 1925 Victoria Cougars, and the 3rd consecutive first-time winner after the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning; MVP is 6'1" Ducks defenceman (team capt.) Scott Niedermayer (1973-). On June 7-14 the 2007 NBA Finals sees the San Antonio Spurs (coach Gregg Popovich) defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers (coach Mike Brown) by 4-0; MVP is Tony Parker of the Spurs. On June 9 Rags to Riches becomes the first filly since 1905 to win the Belmont Stakes, and the 3rd ever, stumbling out of the starting gate before outdueling Preakness winner Curlin by a head, and rekindling memories of Ruffian, who snapped her leg during a "battle of the sexes" match with a colt and was put down, becoming the only horse buried at the track; the first filly to win a Triple Crown race since Winning Colors in the 1988 Kentucky Derby. On July 7 black tennis star Venus Williams wins her 4th Wimbledon singles title, coloring up the rarified ranks of Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf. On July 14 soccer royalty David and Victoria Beckham debut to a media frenzy in L.A. with Phil Anschutz's Los Angeles Galaxy. On July 15 the Philadelphia Phillies get their 10,000th loss, a ML record. Official despite all the 'roids? On Aug. 4 #25 Barry Bonds of the Giants hits his career 755th homer against Clay Hensley of the Padres in San Diego in the 2nd inning, batting it 382 ft. and tying Hank Aaron's Apr. 1974 record, then holding up his batboy son Nikolai; fans hold up asterisk signs and boo him; on Aug. 7 he hits his 756th homer in AT&T Park in San Francisco, batting it 435 ft. after hitting a full-count 84 mph fastball from Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals; 22-y.-o. Matt Murphy (1985-) from Queens, N.Y. catches the ball wearing a Mets jersey, ending up with a bloody nose after another fan tries to wrestle it from him and ends up with his shoe; back on June 4, 1986 when Bonds of the Pirates hit his first homer against Craig McMurtry of the Braves in Atlanta, he weighed ? less lbs. and was ? in. shorter; Aaron issues a statement congratulating Bonds - and his pharmacist? On Sept. 9 (Sun.) Asafa Powell (1982-) of Jamaica sets a 100m world record of 9.74, besting his own record of 9.77. On Sept. 10-30 the Women's World Cup of Soccer is held in China, and Germany beats 15 other teams to win, incl. a record-breaking 11-0 win over Argentina to open the tournament, and a 2-0 win over Brazil in the final, having never surrendered a goal in the tournament. On Nov. 15 flawed baseball star Barry Bonds (1964-) is indicted on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice for his bulging Dec. 2003 testimony to a grand jury. On Dec. 13 after a 20-mo. investigation, the 409-page Mitchell Report by former U.S. Sen. (D-Maine) (1980-95) George John Mitchell Jr. (1933-) is released, lamenting the use of steroids in ML baseball, and naming Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Andy Pettite, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Eric Gagne, Miguel Tejada, David Justice and other players, and calling for new regulations - but not calling for them to give their money back? On Dec. 29 the New England Patriots defeat the New York Giants 38-35 to go 16-0 for the first perfect NFL season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins; New England QB (#12) Thomas Edward Patrick "Tom Terrific" Brady (1977-) beats Peyton Manning's 2004 record of 49 TD passes in a season with 50, which it takes until 2013 to beat. The U. of Fla. becomes the first U.S. univ. to hold nat. titles in football and basketball in the same year. Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand (1969-) becomes world chess champ #15 (until ?). Architecture: In Apr. the 18K-seat Dick's Sporting Goods Park soccer stadium opens in Commerce City, Colo. (near Denver) , staging a Kenny Chesney concert on June 30 to prove its multiple uses. On Oct. 25 the $375M Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. opens as the home of the NHL New Jersey Devils, the NBA New Jersey Nets, and the NCAA basketball Seton Hall Pirates. The 24-ton 40-ft.Julie Penrose Fountain in Am. the Beautiful Park in Colo. Springs, Colo. opens, designed by David Barber and Bill Burgess, consisting of an open loop of silver-colored panels containing 366 water jets, all sitting on a hidden turntable that rotates at 4 rph. 510-ft. 13-story Tianning Pagoda, the world's tallest pagoda opens in Changzhou in E China in May. 2,275-ft. Burj Dubai skyscraper is completed in Dubai, becoming the world's tallest bldg. on Jan. 17 (until ?), passing up Taiwan's chintzy 1,667-ft. Taipei 101 skyscraper and the KVLY-TV mast in N.D. (2002). The Magic Water Circuit in Lima, Peru opens, consisting of 13 illuminated fountains, becoming the largest fountain complex on Earth; the fountains incl. the $13M Tunnel of Surprises, the Maze of the Dream, the Fountain of Harmony, the Rainbow Fountain, the Fountain of Illusion, the Walk-in Dome, the Fountain of Life, the Magic Fountain, and the Fountain of Fantasy. 268.4m 59-story Naberezhnaya (Russ. "tower on quay") Tower in Moscow is completed, becoming the tallest bldg. in Europe (until 2009). The UAE announces plans for Masdar, "the world's first zero-carbon city" 20 mi. from Abu Dhabi; it opens in Sept. 2010. Nobel Prizes: Peace: Albert Arnold "Al" Gore Jr. (1948-) (U.S.) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [global warming]; Lit.: Doris May Lessing (1919-) (U.K.); Physics: Peter Andreas Gruenberg (Grünberg) (1939-2018) (Germany) and Albert Fert (1938-) (France) [giant magnetoresistance]; Chem.: Gerhard Ertl (1936-) (Germany) [surface chem.]; Med.: Mario Ramberg Capecchi (1937-) (Italy), Sir Martin John Evans (1941-) (U.K.), and Oliver Smithies (1925-2017) (U.S.) [homologous recombination and stem cell research]; Econ.: Leonid "Leo" Hurwicz (1912-2008) (oldest to receive a Nobel Prize until ?), Eric Stark Maskin (1950-) (U.S.), and Roger Bruce Myerson (1951-) [mechanism design theory]. Inventions: On Jan. 11 China successfully tests its ground-based direct-ascent Anti-Satellite Ballistic Missile (ASAT); too bad, it creates 3.4K pieces of radar-trackable debris, one-six the total, causing an internat. outcry. On Jan. 28 Microsoft releases Windows Vista Home Premium one, er, two, er three years late, in 6 versions, from $199 up; the consumer ed. lets users record and play TV; too bad, it requires 1-2 GB of RAM, and proves to be an unwieldy turkey. In Mar. Scribd.Com is launched from San Francisco, Calif., allowing anybody to upload anything they write and share it for free with others, becoming known as "the Netflix for books", with 80M users and 60M documents by 2018, causing competing sites to spring up. On May 8 Intel announces a new hafnium-based IC that will allow double the number of transistors per chip compared to silicon and is faster too. On June 17 a failed Russian computer system on the Internat. Space Station (ISS) is fixed, which crashed the week before during a spacewalk to repair a thermal blanket which had peeled back during the June 8 launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis; the $100B ISS program has a net benefit to humanity of $1.98? On June 29 (Fri.) Apple begins marketing their techno-beautiful iPhone enhanced cell phone to long lines of waiting customers, who pay up to $600 each; too bad, AT&T can't handle the increased load on its servers, causing many to have problems activating it, so that even its alarm clock won't work; later buyers learn that the battery is soldered in and needs a technician to replace it for $79. On July 8 Boeing rolls out its new Boeing 787, the first commercial airplane made of lightweight composites not subject to the corrosion and fatigue problems of aluminum, and getting 20% better fuel efficiency, booking $100B in advance orders (677 planes) from 24 airlines who find it just the bee's knees, putting the double-decker Airbus A380 on the skids. On Oct. 24 China launches the Chang'e 1 lunar orbiter from its Xichang Satellite Launch Center; it is followed by Chang'e 2 on Oct. 1, 2010, Chang'e 3 on Dec. 1, 2013, which soft-lands on the Moon on Dec. 14, 2013; Chang'e 5 is launched on ?, 2017. The microblogging Web site Tumblr is created by David Karp, becoming a rival to Facebook and Twitter by 2010. Ortwin Hess et al. of the U. of Surrey in Guildford, U.K. trap a rainbow inside a tapering waveguide for the first time. The CPR Glove is invented by Canadian univ. students Corey Centen and Nilesh Patel. Toygers (toy tigers) are bred for personal pets out of Asian leopard cats, and sell for $800 up - not counting medical insurance for the owners? Hallmark Cards Inc. comes out with a Coming Out of the Closet occasion card. The Japanese begin marketing Bust-Up Gum, based on a plant extract that allegedly mimics estrogen and allegedly help women increase bust size; the dose is two pieces 4x daily for 2 mo., which at $.50 apiece comes out to $240? Neu-View Wraparound Sunglasses by psychotherapist Robert Buck allegedly reduce anger with side sections that stimulate the left side of the brain so that it can control the emotional right side. Science: On Jan. 1 Nature Biotechnology reports that scientists have "knocked out" the genes responsible for making prions, making cows potentially immune from mad cow disease. On Jan. 7 researchers at Wake Forest U. and Harvard U. report in Nature Biotechnology that stem cells may be extracted from amniotic fluid donated by pregnant women. On Jan. 14 an article in the journal Nature Genetics claims that the gene SORL1 can raise the risk of developing the most common form of Alzheimer's disease. On Jan. 22 scientists at the Alpbach Conference (Forum) in Austria warn that glaciers will disappear from the Alps by 2050; glaciers in the Tyrol are shrinking 3% a year. On Jan. 26 an article in Science by researchers at USC claims that the insula inside the cerebral cortex may control addictive cravings. On Jan. 30 federal scientists testify before the first House investigative hearing of the new U.S. Congress that they were pressured to play down global warming. In Jan. scientists at the Nat. Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, Man., Canada reconstruct the 1918-19 Spanish flu virus from the exhumed body of a victim buried in Alaskan permafrost - how was I to know she was with the Russians too? On Feb. 2 the first "sniffs of air" of two huge distant planets, incl. HD209458b (900T mi. from Earth) by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope cause surprise by the absence of water in their atmospheres. On Feb. 9 Sir Richard Branson offers a $25M reward for the invention of a way to suck greenhouse gases out of the air - plant trees? On Feb. 22 the Nat. Insts. of Health announce that circumcision reduces a man's risk of contracting AIDS from hetero sex by about half, stopping clinical trials because the results are so clear. On Feb. 28 Dutch researchers present findings at the 47th Annual Conference of the Am. Heart Assoc. that drinking a little alcohol each day, esp. wine (one-half glass) may be associated with an increase in life expectancy. In Feb. Takashi Tsuji et al. of Tokyo U. announce in Nature Methods that they have found a way to regrow teeth in mice using embryonic stem cells. In Mar. a group of top physicists incl. Brian Greene (1963-) of Columbia U. announce that time travel is beyond our capabilities - when did they announce this? In Mar. Swiss scientists build a robot lamprey that can swim like an eel and crawl on land like a salamander, allegedly showing how evolution might have worked. On Apr. 13 Science mag. pub. news of the sequencing of the genome of the Rhesus macaque Old World monkey, becoming the 3rd primate to be sequenced. On Apr. 24 astronomers report finding potentially Earth-like Planet 581c a mere 20.5 l.y. (120T mi.) away in Libra orbiting a dim red dwarf star (like 80% of the stars near Earth); surface temp range is 34-124F. On Apr. 26 the first flight of NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) takes off from Waco, Tex. In Apr. the new mineral Jadarite is discovered in Serbia, with the chem. formula sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide, the same as written on a case of "kryptonite" stolen by Lex Luther in the movie "Superman Returns"; it is white, powdery and not radioactive. On May 20 Justinus Lahama of Jakarta, Indonesia catches a 4-ft. 110-lb. coelacanth, and keeps it alive in a pool for 17 hours. On May 28 ViaLactia of Australia announces Marge the Cow, the first cow with a genetic mutation to produce low-fat milk. In May the U.S. FDA approves the birth control pill Lybrel, which completely ends monthly periods except for occasional bleeding. In May Watson & Crick survivor James Dewey Watson (1928-) becomes the first person to receive his own personal genome map; too bad, on Oct. 14 an article in the Sunday Times Mag. contains some comments that piss-off the PC police, saying that he is "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa", because "All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says not really", and "There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so", causing him to be fired from Cold Spring Harbor Lab on Oct. 18, and after tries to retract and apologize don't work, he resigns on Oct. 25, after which the Sunday Times pub. a cheap shot article claiming that 16% of his DNA is of African origin, using a flawed version of his genome map. On June 28 J. Craig Venter et al. announce the first species conversion, the conversion of one species of bacterium into another by replacing its DNA; "This is the equivalent of changing a Macintosh computer to a PC by inserting a new piece of software" (Venter); their next goal is to create a simple creature that has never existed before. On Aug. 4 the $386M NASA Phoenix Mars Lander blasts off, with the mission of testing the icy ground near the planet's north pole for signs of past or present life when it lands on May 25, 2008; it was named from the fact it was built from recycled parts from a scrapped 2001 mission; the last contact is on Nov. 2, 2008. On Nov. 6 Am. lone wolf physicist (Anthony) Garrett Lisi (1968-) proposes E8: An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything, a grand unified field theory based on the E8 Lie group combining particle physics and Einstein's theory of gravitation, claiming to embed all three generations of fermions in E8; in July 2009 it is disproven by mathematician Skip Garibaldi of Emory U. and physicist Jacques Distler of UTA. On Nov. 17 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (founded 1988) pub. its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4): Climate Change 007 in Paris, written by hundreds of thousands of scientists (really only 52?) led by New York City-born geoscientist Michael Oppenheimer (1946-), Argentine-born Am. economist Graciela Chichilnisky (1944-), German climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf (1960-), Kiwi scientist Michael James "Jim" Salinger (1947-), German economist Ottmar Georg Edenhofer (1961-) (known for the Nov. 14, 2010 soundbyte: "One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. [What we're doing] has almost nothing to do with the climate. We must state clearly that we are using climate policy to redistribute de facto the world's wealth") et al., citing 6K+ peer-reviewed scientific studies and concluding that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal", "most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions", warning that human activity poses a risk of "abrupt or irreversible changes" on Earth, and proposing the Carbon Credit Emissions Trading Market, which is adopted by the Kyoto Protocol; the 996-page report Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis is pub. by Working Group I as an addendum to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, describing causes and consequences of global warming; it has 620 authors; IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri utters the soundbyte: "If there's no action before 2012, that's too late"; the IPCC is awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with former U.S. vice-pres. Al Gore (1948-), whose acceptance speech contains the New Age OWG soundbyte: "The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift Global Consciousness to a higher level." On Nov. 20 James Alexander "Jamie" Thomson (1958-) et al. of the U. of Wisc. report a new way to turn ordinary human skin cells into embryonic stem cells by adding four genes, defusing the debate about using human embryos; the same lab did the first stem cell-plucking from embryos in 1998. In Nov. 2,264 sq. mi. C19A becomes the largest iceberg on Earth after 4.4K sq. mi. B15 cracks in two. On Dec. 12 BBC News science reporter Jonathan Amos pub. a report touting the claims of scientists Wieslaw Maslowski et al. that Arctic summers may be ice-free by 2013, and that this estimate might be "too conservative". On Dec. 20 the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee pub. a report listing 400 prominent scientists who dispute man-made global warming, increasing it to 650 on Dec. 11, 2008. On Dec. 20 Ohio anatomy prof. Hans Thewissen pub. an article in Nature claiming to have found the long-sought missing link between land animals and whales (the hippo having proved a dead-end), the Indohyus, a cross between a long-tailed deer and an overgrown long-legged rat - what's that intelligent design stuff again? By the end of this year scientists have discovered 260 planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. Green Pea Galaxies are discovered by amateur astronomers. Dutch school teacher Hanny van Arkel discovers mysterious Hanny's Voorwerp close to spiral galaxy IC 2497 in the constellation Leo Minor, a huge hole 16K l.y. across sans stars with an unusually green color; on June 17, 2010 Hayden Rampadarath concludes that it contains a massive black hole at its center. "The Berlin Patient" Timothy Ray Brown (1966-) becomes the first person to be cured of HIV/AIDS via a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; his cure is announced at the 2008 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; he remains anonymous until 2010; in 2019 "the London Patient" Adam Castillejo becomes the 2nd person cured. U. of Ariz. microbiologist Michael Worobey traces the evolutionary origins by HIV, finding HIV infections occurring in the U.S. as far back as the 1960s; in 2019 Worobey extracts HIV virus from a human from the early 20th cent. Kenya's nat. museum stages its first public display of Turkana Boy, the most complete prehistoric human skeleton ever found, causing Christian evangelical Bishop Boniface Adoyo to lead a protest, saying "I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or anything like it". A 405-y.-o. quahog clam is dredged off the N coast of Iceland, becoming the world's oldest known living animal. Art: Daniel Edwards, Paris Hilton Autopsy (sculpture); how she will end up if she doesn't quit drinking and driving? Mary Ehrin, Golden Arabesque; acrylic, gouache and 23-carat gold leaf. Damien Hirst (1965-), For the Love of God; platinum cast of 18th cent. skull covered in 8,601 diamonds; it cost £12M to make, and sells for £50M. Doris Laughton, Multi Liquid Metal Splats (bronze sculpture). Andrew Long, A Thousand Years. Philip Pearlstein (1924-), Two Nude Women with Flying Goose, Butterfly and Examination Chair. David Zimmer, Alfredo; backlighted image on duratran. Music: The Academy Is..., Santi (album #3) (original title "Chop Chop") (Apr. 27) (#32 in the U.S., #94 in the U.K.) ; incl. We've Got a Big Mess on Our Hands, Neighbors. Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris (album #5) (June 8) (#14 in the U.S., #7 in the U.K.); incl. Sick, Sick, Sick (#65 in the U.K.), 3's and 7's (#19 in the U.K.), Make It Wit Chu. Akon, Don't Matter. America, Here & Now (album #16) (Jan.); incl. Here and Now. Tori Amos (1963-), American Doll Posse (album #9) (Apr. 26) (#5 in the U.S.); incl. Big Wheel, Bouncing Off Clouds. Apocalyptica, Worlds Collide (album #6) (Sept. 14) (#59 in the U.S.); incl. I'm Not Jesus (w/Corey Taylor), S.O.S. (Anything But Love) (w/Cristina Scabbia), I Don't Care (w/Adam Gontier). Joseph Arthur (1971-) and the Lonely Astronauts, Let's Just Be (album) (Apr. 17); incl. Spacemen. Beatallica, Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band (album) (debut) (July 10); incl. Revol-ooh-tion, Helvester of Skelter. Natasha Bedingfield (1981-), N.B. (album) (Apr. 27) (#3 in the U.S., #9 in the U.K.); incl. Love Like This, Pocketful of Sunshine, Angel, I Wanna Have Your Babies, Soulmate. Beyonce (1981-) and Justin Timberlake (1981-), Until the End of Time. Mary J. Blige (1971-), Growing Pains (album #8) (Oct. 31) (#1 in the U.S., #6 in the U.K.); incl. Just Fine, Work That, Hurt Again, Stay Down. Moody Blues, Live at the BBC: 1967-1970 (album) (Mar. 26). James Blunt (1977-), All the Lost Souls (album #2) (Sept. 17) (#7 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.) (3.6M copies); incl. 1973, Same Mistake, Carry You Home, I Really Want You. Backstreet Boys, Unbreakable (album #6) (Oct. 24); incl. Inconsolable, Helpless When She Smiles. Pet Shop Boys, Disco Four (album) (Oct. 8). Chris Brown, Exclusive (album); incl. Kiss Kiss, With You. Michael Buble (1975-) and Emily Blunt, Call Me Irresponsible (album); incl. Me and Mrs. Jones. Jimmy Buffett (1946-), Live at Texas Stadium (album) (Apr. 3); recorded on May 29, 2004. Colbie Caillat (1985-), Coco (album) (debut) (July 17) (#5 in the U.S.); incl. Bubbly (which became a #1 iTunes hit via her MySpace profile), Realize, The Little Things. Cake, B-Sides and Rarities (album) (Oct. 2). Cascada, Waterfall: The Essential Dance Remix Collection (album); Perfect Day (album #2) (Dec. 3) (1M copies). 50 Cent (1975-), Curtis (album #3) (Sept. 11) (#2 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K.); incl. Straight to the Bank, Amusement Park, I Get Money, Ayo Technology, I'll Still Kill (w/Akon). Chubby Checker (1941-), Knock Down the Walls (album) (Feb. 20); incl. Knock Down the Walls; #1 on the U.S. dance charts. Blue Cheer, What Doesn't Kill You (album #10) (last album) (Aug. 21); incl. Born Under a Bad Sign (by William Bell and Booker T. Jones). Kenny Chesney (1968-), Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates (album) (Sept. 11); incl. Never Wanted Nothing More, Don't Blink. Kelly Clarkson (1982-), My December (album #3) (June 22) (#2 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K.); sells 2M copies; incl. Never Again, Sober, One Minute, Don't Waste Your Time. Black Rebel Motorocycle Club, Baby 81 (album) (Apr. 30); incl. Took Out a Loan. New Young Pony Club, Fantastic Playroom (album) (debut) (July 9). Biffy Clyro, Puzzle (album #4) (June 4) (#2 in the U.K.) (300K copies); incl. Semi-Mental, Saturday Superhouse, Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies, Folding Stars, Machines, Who's Got A Match? Joe Cocker (1944-2014), Hymn for My Soul (album #20) (Mar. 26). Craig Ashley David (1981-), Trust Me (album) (Nov. 12); incl. This is the Girl (w/ Kano). Taylor Dayne (1962-), Beautiful (Dec. 11) (#23 in the U.S.). Celine Dion (1968-), Taking Chances (album #10) (Nov. 7); incl. Taking Chances. Hilary Duff (1987-), Dignity (album #4) (Mar. 26) (#3 in the U.S., #25 in the U.K.) (1.8M copies in the U.S.); incl. With Love (#24 in the U.S.), Play With Fire, Stranger. Tan Dun, The First Emperor (opera) (Dec.) (Metropolitan Opera, New York). Duran Duran, Red Carpet Massacre (album #12) (Nov. 19); incl. Red Carpet Massacre, Falling Down. As I Lay Dying, An Ocean Between Us (album #4) (Aug. 21) (#8 in the U.S.); incl. Nothing Left, The Sound of Truth, I Never Wanted, Within Destruction. Eagles, Long Road Out of Eden (album) (Oct. 30); 20 new songs after a 28-year wait (1979); incl. How Long, Busy Being Fabulous, No More Cloudy Days. Finger Eleven, Them vs. You vs. Me (album #5) (Mar. 6) (500K copies); incl. Paralyzer, Falling On. Public Enemy, How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? (album #11) (Aug. 7); incl. Black Is Back, Amerikan Gangster (w/E.Infinite). The Enemy, We'll Live and Die in These Towns (album) (debut) (July 9) (#1 in the U.K.); from Coventry, incl. Tom Clarke (1986-) (vocals); incl. 40 Days and 40 Nights, It's Not OK, Away From Here, Had Enough, You're Not Alone, This Song. Epica, The Divine Conspiracy (album #3) (Sept. 7); incl. Chasing the Dragon, Never Enough. Gloria Estefan (1957-),90 Millas (90 Miles) (album #10) (Sept. 17) (#25 in the U.S.); incl. No Llores, Me Odio, Pintame De Colores. Melissa Etheridge (1961-), The Awakening (album) (Sept. 25). Eve (1978-), Tambourine (with the Swizz Beatz). Exodus, The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A (album #8) (Oct. 23); incl. Riot Act. On Feb. 2007 they released album #4 Fall Out Boy, Infinity on High (album #4) (Feb. 5) (1M copies); incl. This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race, and Thnks fr th Mmrs (Thanks for the Memories). Feist (1976-), The Reminder (album #4) (Apr. 23) (#16 in the U.S.) (600K copies); incl. 1234 (#8 in the U.S. and U.K.), My Moon My Man, I Feel It All, Honey Honey. The Flobots, Fight With Tools (album) (debut) (Oct. 16); from Denver, Colo., incl. James "Jamie" "Jonny 5" Laurie (1977-) (vocals), Stephen Brackett, Mackenzie Gault, Andy Guerrero, Jesse Walker, and Kenny Ortiz; incl. Handlebars (#15 in the U.S.), Rise. The Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (album #6) (Sept. 25); incl. The Pretender, Long Road to Ruin. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible (album #2) (Mar. 5) (#2 in the U.S.); incl. Black Mirror, Keep the Car Running, Intervention, No Cars Go. Maroon 5, It Won't Be Soon Before Long (album #2) (May 22) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.); incl. Makes Me Wonder, Wake Up Call, Won't Go Home Without You, If I Never See Your Face Again (w/Rihanna), Goodnight Goodnight. John Fogerty (1945-), Revival (album) (Oct. 2); incl. Long Dark Night. The Fray, Acoustic in Nashville: Booleg No. 2 (album) (Sept. 4). Fuel, Angels & Devils (album #4) (Aug. 7) (#42 in the U.S.); last with Carl Bell and Jeff Abercrombie; first with vocalist Toryn Green (1975-); Wasted Time. Nelly Furtado (1978-), Say It Right. Kool and the Gang, Still Kool (album #24). Garbage, Absolute Garbage (album) (July 23). Leif Garrett (1961-), Three Sides Of... (album). Macy Gray (1967-), Big (album) (Mar. 27); incl. Finally Made Me Happy (with Natalie Cole), Shoo Be Doo. Emmy the Great (1984-), My Bad (album) (Aug. 20); incl. Easter Parade. Josh Groban (1981-), Noel (Noël) (album #4) (Oct. 9); sells 3.7M copies in 2007 (#1-selling album in the U.S. for 2007), and 5.8M copies by Oct. 2015, becoming the 2nd best-selling Christmas album in the U.S. after Kenny G's 1994 "Miracles: The Holiday Album". Herbie Hancock (1940-) and Joni Mitchell (1943-), River: The Joni Letters (album) (Sept. 25); 2008 album of the year Grammy, 2nd jazz album to win (first 1965). Glen Hansard (1970-) and Marketa Iglova (1988-), Falling Slowly; from the film "Once". P.J. Harvey (1969-), White Chalk (album #8) (Sept. 24) (#45 in the U.S., #11 in the U.K.); incl. When Under Ether, The Piano, The Devil. The Heavy, Great Vengeance and Furious Fire (album) (debut); from Bath, England, incl. Kelvin Swaby (vocals), Dan Taylor (guitar), Spencer Page (bass), and Chris Ellul (drums); That Kind of Man. Levon Helm (1940-), Dirt Farmer (album #4) (Oct. 30); first album since 1980. Hans Werner Henze (1926-), Phaedra (opera). Missy Higgins, On a Clear Night (album) (Apr. 28); incl. Steer. Faith Hill (1967-), The Hits (album) (Oct. 2); incl. Lost, Red Umbrella. Crowded House, Time on Earth (album #5) (June 20) (#46 in the U.S., #3 in the U.K.); first album since 1993; first with drummer Matt Sherrod; incl. Don't Stop Now, She Called Up, Pour Le Monde. David Ippolito, I Love the Company (album #8). Jamiroquai, Jamiroquai - Live at Montreux 2003 (album) (Oct. 1). Jay-Z (1969-), American Gangster (album #10) (Nov. 6); based on the film; sells 1M copies; incl. I Know, Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)... Jimmy Eat World, Chase This Light (album #6) (Oct. 16) (#5 in the U.S.); incl. Big Casino, Always Be. Elton John (1947-), Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits (album) (Mar. 26). Jonas Brothers, Jonas Brothers (album #2) (Aug. 7); incl. Year 3000, Hold On, SOS, When You Look Me in the Eyes. Norah Jones (1979-), Not Too Late (album #3) (Jan. 30) (#1 in the U.S.) (4M copies); incl. Thinking About You. Bon Jovi, Lost Highway (album); incl. (You Want to) Make a Memory. Midnight Juggernauts, Dystopia (album) (debut) (Aug. 4); from Melbourne, Australia, incl. Vincent Vendetta, Andrew Szekeres, Daniel Stricker; incl. Into the Galaxy. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (1959-97), Wonderful World (album) (posth.). (July 4) (#44 in the U.S.); incl. What a Wonderful World; Over the Rainbow (#46 in the U.K.). Toby Keith (1961-), Big Dog Daddy (album) (June 12); incl. High Maintenance Woman. R. Kelly (1967-), Double Up (album #8) (May 29) (#1 in the U.S., #10 in the U.K.) (1M copies); incl. I'm a Flirt Remix (w/T.l. and T-Pain). Alicia Keys (1981-), As I Am (album #3) (Nov. 13) (#1 in the U.S., #11 in the U.K.) (5M copies); incl. No One, Like You'll Never See Me Again. Chaka Khan (1953-), Funk This (album #11) (Sept. 25) (#15 in the U.S.); incl. Disrespectful (w/Mary J. Blige), You Belong to Me (w/Michael McDonald). Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight (album #4). The Killers, Sawdust (album) (Nov. 9) (#12 in the U.S.) (1M copies); incl. Shadowplay, Tranquilize (w/Lou Reed); Don't Shoot Me Santa (Dec. 1) (part of the proceeds devoted to AIDS charity). K'naan (1978-), The Dusty Foot on the Road (album #3) (June 25); incl. Smile. Korn, MTV Unplugged: Korn (album) (Mar. 5); Untitled (album #8) (July 27) (#2 in the U.S., #15 in the U.K.); incl. Evolution (#4 in the U.S.), Hold On (#35 in the U.S.), Kiss, I Will Protect You. Barenaked Ladies, Barenaked Ladies Are Men (album #8) (Feb. 6) (#102 in the U.S., #39 in Canada); Talk to the Hand: Live in Michigan (album) (Nov. 6). David Lang, The Little Match Girl Passion. Avril Lavigne (1984-), The Best Damn Thing (album #3) (Apr. 13) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.) (7M copies); incl. The Best Damn Thing, Girlfriend, When You're Gone, Hot. Annie Lennox (1954-), Songs of Mass Destruction (album #4) (Oct. 1); incl. Dark Road, Sing. Leona Lewis (1985-), Spirit (album) (debut) (Nov. 9) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.) (3M copies); incl. Bleeding Love, Better in Time, I Will Be, The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face (by Robert Flack), The Footprints in the Sand. The Black Lips, Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo (album) (Feb. 27); Good Bad Not Evil (album #4) (Sept. 11); incl. Slime and Oxygen, How Do You Tell a Child That Someone Has Died? Lloyd w/Lil' Wayne, You. Loon (1975-), Bad Boy (album #4) (with G. Dep.) (Feb. 13); after selling 7M CDs, he converts to Islam in 2009 and drops out of music. Jennifer Lopez (1969-), Como Ama una Mujer (How A Woman Loves) (album #5) (Mar. 27); Brave (album #6) (Oct. 4) (#12 in the U.S.); last with Epic Records. Amy Macdonald (1987-), This Is the Life (album) (debut) (July 30) (#1 in the U.K.); sells 2M copies; incl. Poison Prince, Mr. Rock & Roll, L.A., This Is the Life, Run. Madonna, The Confessions Tour (album) (Jan. 26) (#15 in the U.S., #7 in the U.K.). Mae, Singularity (album #3) (Aug. 14); incl. Sometimes I Can't Make It Alone. Marilyn Manson, Eat Me, Drink Me (album #6) (June 5); incl. Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand), Putting Holes in Happiness. Martina McBride (1966-), Waking Up Laughing (album #8); incl. Anyway. Paul McCartney (1942-), Memory Almost Full (album #14) (June 4) (#3 in the U.S., #5 in the U.K.); sells 2M copies; incl. Dance Tonight (video features Natalie Portman), 222 (about his young daughter Beatrice). Tim McGraw (1967-), Let It Go (album) (Mar. 27); incl. Last Dollar (Fly Away), Ever Present Past, Only Mama Knows, Nod Your Head. Reba McEntire (1955-), Reba: Duets (album #28) (Sept. 18) (her first #1 on the Billboard and country charts). Megadeth, United Abominations (album #11) (May 8) (#8 in the U.S., #23 in the U.K.); incl. A Tout le Monde (Set me Free) (w/Cristina Scabbia). John Mellencamp (1951-), Freedom's Road (album); incl. The Only Promise That Remains (with Justin Timberlake). This is Our Country. Katie Melua (1984-), Pictures (album #3) (Oct. 1); incl. If You Were a Sailboat, Mary Pickford, If the Lights Go Out. Metric, Grown Up and Blown Away (album #3) (June 27); the first album they cut; incl. Grow Up and Blow Away. M.I.A. (Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasm) (1975-), Kala (album #2) (Aug. 8); incl. Boyz, Jimmy, Paper Planes ("I get high like paper/ I fly like planes/ Catch me at the border/ I got visas in your name"). Ingrid Michaelson (1979-), Girls and Boys (album). Mika (1983-), Grace Kelly (Jan. 8); Life in Cartoon Motion (album) (debut) (Feb. 5). Kylie Minogue (1968-), X (album #10) (Nov. 21) (#4 in the U.K., #1 in Australia); incl. 2 Hearts, In My Arms, Wow, All I See, The One. Joni Mitchell (1943-), Shine (album #19) (Sept. 25); first new songs since 1998; incl. If. Pat Monahan (1969-), Last of Seven (album) (solo debut) (Sept. 18). Arctic Monkeys, Favourite Worst Nightmare (album #2) (Apr. 18) (#1 in the U.K.); incl. Brainstorm, Fluorescent Adolescent, Teddy Picker. Van Morrison (1945-), Van Morrison at the Movies - Soundtrack Hits (album) (Feb. 12); The Best of Van Morrison Vol. 3 (album) (June 11); Still On Top - The Greatest Hits (double album) (Oct. 22). Motorhead, Better Motorhead (Motörhead) Than Dead: Live at Hammersmith (album) (July 16). Mountain, Masters of War (album). Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (album #5) (Mar. 20) (#1 in the U.S., #47 in the U.K.) (500K copies); first with Johnny Marr; incl. Dashboard (#59 in the U.S., #111 in the U.K.), Missed the Boat. Puddle of Mudd, Famous (album #3) (Oct. 9) (#27 in the U.S.) (360K copies); incl. Famous, Psycho. Dropkick Murphys, The Meanest of Times (album #6) (Sept. 18); first on their own label Born & Bred Records; incl. The State of Massachusetts. Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero (album #5) (Apr. 17) (#2 in the U.S., #6 in the U.K.); a dystopian vision of the U.S. govt. in the year 2022; incl. Survivalism, Capital G. The National, Boxer (album #4) (May 22) (#68 in the U.S.); incl. Slow Show, Fake Empire, Mistaken for Strangers, Racing Like a Pro. Ne-Yo (1979-), Because of You (album #2) (Apr. 25); incl. Because of You. Nonpoint, Vengeance (album #5) (Nov. 6) (#129 in the U.S.); incl. March of War, Wake Up World. Sinead O'Connor (1966-), Theology (album #8) (June 18); incl. I Don't Know How to Love Him (from "Jesus Christ Superstar"), Something Beautiful. Blue October, Foiled for the Last Time (double album) (Sept. 25). Orianthi (Pangaris), Violet Journey (album) (debut). Ozzy Osbourne (1948-), Black Rain (album) (May 22); incl. Black Rain. T-Pain w/Yung Joc, Buy U a Drank. Brad Paisley (1972-), 5th Gear (album) (June 19); incl. Ticks, Online, Letter to Me, I'm Still a Guy. Linkin Park, Minutes to Midnight (album #3) (May 14) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.) (6.5M copies); incl. What I've Done (#7 in the U.S., #6 in U.K.) ("In this farewell there's no blood, no alibi/ Cause I've drawn regret from the truth of a thousand lies/ So let mercy come, and wash away what I've done"), Bleed It Out (#52 in U.S., #29 in the U.K.), Shadow of the Day (#15 in the U.S., #46 in the U.K.), Given Up (#99 in the U.S.), Leave Out All the Rest (#94 in the U.S., #90 in the U.K.). Maximo Park, Our Earthly Pleasures (album #2) (Apr. 2); incl. Our Velocity, Books from Boxes, Girls Who Play Guitars, Karaoke Plays. Katy Perry (1984-), Ur So Gay (Nov. 20) ("You're so gay and don't even like boys"); so much for her Christian music career? Pitbull (1981-), The Boatlift (album #3) (Nov. 27) (#50 in the U.S.); incl. Sticky Icky (w/Lil Jon and Jim Jones), Secret Admirer, Go Girl, The Anthem (w/Lil Jon), Fuego Remix (w/Don Omar). Robert Plant (1948-) and Alison Krauss (1971-), Raising Sand (album) (Oct. 23); incl. Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On), Please Read the Letter, Rich Woman. Jean-Luc Ponty (1942-), The Atacama Experience (album). The New Pornographers, Challengers (album #4) (Aug. 21) (#34 in the U.S.); incl. Myriad Harbour. Insane Clown Posse, The Tempest (album #10) (Mar. 20). Paul Potts (1970-), One Chance (album) (debut); sells 3M copies. Manic Street Preachers, Send Away the Tigers (album #8) (May 7) (#2 in the U.K.); incl. Underdogs, Your Love Alone is Not Enough, Autumnsong, Indian Summer. Prince (1958-), Planet Earth (album) (July 7); incl. "Guitar", "Chelsea Rodgers". Eric Prydz (1976-), Proper Education (#2 in the U.K.). Smashing Pumpkins, Zeitgeist (album) (June 6). Skinny Puppy, Mythmaker (album #10) (Jan. 30) (#200 in the U.S.); incl. UgLi. Queensryche, Mindcrime at the Moore (album) (July 3); Sign of the Times (album) (Aug. 9); Take Cover (album) (Nov. 13). Radiohead, In Rainbows (album #7) (Oct. 10); released as a you-set-the-price digital download; incl. House of Cards/Bodysnatchers, Jigsaw Falling into Place, Nude, Reckoner, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi. Night Ranger, Hole in the Sun (album #9) (Apr. 23); first album since 1998; incl. Tell Your Vision, There Is Life. Nathaniel Rateliff (1978-), Desire and Dissolving Men (album) (debut). The Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust (album #3) (Nov. 12); incl. Lust. Eddi Reader (1959-), Peacetime (album #8). Lou Reed (1942-), Hudson River Wild Meditations (album #20) (Apr. 24); Tai Chi music; incl. Hudson River Wind (Blend the Ambiance). Steve Reich (1936-), Double Sextet. Rihanna (1988-), Good Girl Gone Bad (album #3) (May 31) (#2 in the U.S., #1 in the U.S.) (2.8M copies); incl. Umbrella (#1 in the U.S.), Take a Bow (#1 in the U.S.), Disturbia (#1 in the U.S.), Don't Stop the Music (#1 worldwide), Hate That I Love You, Shut Up and Drive, Rehab. LeAnn Rimes (1982-), Family (album). Kid Rock (1971-), Rock n Roll Jesus (album #7) (Oct. 9) (#1 in the U.S.) (5M copies); incl. So Hott, Amen, All Summer Long (#2 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.); a mashup of Warrem Zevon's "Werewolves of London" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama", plus Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"; becomes the official theme song of WWE's Backlash 2008, and the 2009 World Cup. My Chemical Romance, AOL Sessions (album) (Dec. 18); Live and Rare (EP) (Dec. 19). Kelly Rowland, Like This (with Eve). Tom Rush (1941-), The Remember Song (by Steven Walters); uploaded to YouTube on Mar. 1, becoming a hit (6M+ views), causing him to utter the soundbyte: "I've been waiting 45 years to be an overnight sensation." Rush, Snakes & Arrows (album #18) (May 1); incl. Far Cry, Spindrift. Saxon, The Inner Sanctum (Mar. 5). Scorpions, Humanity: Hour I (album #15) (May 14). Seal (1963-), System (album #5) (Nov. 12). Seether, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (album #4) (Oct. 23); incl. Fake It, Rise Above This, Breakdown, Careless Whisper. Shaggy, Intoxication (album). Michelle Shocked (1962-), ToHeavenURide (album); When I Grow Up (I want to be an old woman). Patti Smith (1946-), Twelve (album #10) (Apr. 17); guess how many tracks?; incl. Are You Experienced?. Collective Soul, Afterwords (album #7) (Aug. 28); incl. Hollywood. Jordin Sparks (1989-), Jordin Sparks (album) (debut) (Nov. 20); sells 2M copies; Am. Idol season #6 winner; incl. Tattoo, No Air (with Chris Brown). Britney Spears (1981-), Blackout (album) (Oct. 30). REO Speedwagon, Find Your Own Way Home (album #15) (Apr. 3) (first since 1996); incl. I Needed to Fall. Regina Spektor (1980-), Live in California 2006 EP (album) (Feb. 27). Ringo Starr (1940-), Ringo Starr: Live at Soundstage (album) (Oct. 23). Status Quo, In Search of the Fourth Cord (album #28) (Sept. 17); title is a play on their rap that they always play the same three chords. Gwen Stefani (1969-) with Akon, The Sweet Escape. Sting (1951-), Songs from the Labyrinth (album); Elizabethan songs "about the nature of love and disappointment". Joss Stone (1987-), Introducing Joss Stone (album #3) (Mar. 12) (#2 in the U.S., #12 in the U.K.) (1.3M copies); Tell Me 'bout It, Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now (w/Common), Baby Baby Baby. White Stripes, Icky Thump (album #6) (last album) (June 15) (#2 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.); first on Warner Brothers Records; incl. Icky Thump, Rag and Bone, You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told), Conquest. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver (album #2) (Mar. 12); incl. All My Friends, North American Scum, Someone Great; A Bunch of Stuff (album) (Sept. 18). Cobra Starship, Viva la Cobra! (album #2) (Oct. 23); incl. Guilty Pleasure, The City Is At War, Kiss My Sass. Sugarbabes, Change (album #5) (Oct. 1); incl. Change, About You Now, Denial. Within Temptation, The Heart of Everything (album #4) (Mar. 12) (#106 in the U.S., #38 in the U.K.); incl. All I Need, Forgiven, The Howling, What Have You Done, Frozen. Therion, Gothic Kabbalah (album #14) (Jan. 12); incl. The Wand of Abaris. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Strength & Loyalty (album) (May 8); incl. I Tried (with Akon). T.H.U.G.S. (album) (Nov. 13). Robin Thicke (1977-), Lost Without U. Pretty Things, Balboa Island (album #14). Timbaland (1971-), Timbaland Presents Shock Value (album #2) (Apr. 3) (#5 in the U.S.); incl. Give It to Me. (Mar. 15) (w/Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.). Justin Timberlake (1981-), What Goes Around. The Fall of Troy, Manipulator (album #3) (May 1). Jethro Tull, Live at Montreux 2003 (album). KT Tunstall (1975-), Drastic Fantastic (album #2) (Sept. 10) (#9 in the U.S., #72 in the U.K.); incl. Little Favours, If Only, Hold On, Saving My Face. Tarja Turunen (1977-), My Winter Storm (album) (solo debut) (Nov. 19); sells 5.5M copies; incl. I Walk Alone. Matchbox Twenty, Exile on Mainstream (album #4) (Oct. 2) (#3 in the U.S., #53 in the U.K.); incl. How Far We've Come (#14 in the U.S.). Thompson Twins, Love On Your Side: The Best of Thompson Twins (album). Six Feet Under, Commandment (album #7) (Apr. 17); incl. Ghosts of the Undead, Doomsday. Carrie Underwood (1983-), Before He Cheats. Tune Up, Ravers Fantasy. The Veronicas, Hook Me Up (album #2) (Nov. 3) (#107 in the U.S., #35 in the U.K., #2 in Australia); incl. Hook Me Up, Untouched, This Love, Take Me on the Floor, Popular. Suzanne Vega (1959-), Beauty & Crime (album #7) (June 11); incl. Bound (about her hubby, who proposed in 1983 and wed her in 2005). Sydney Wayser (1986-), Silent Parade (album) (debut) (May 1). Kevin Welch (1955-), Kane Welch Kaplin (album #8). Kanye West (1977-), Graduation (album #3) (Sept. 11) (#1 in the U.S.) (2M copies in the U.S.); incl. Can't Tell Me Nothing, Stronger, Good Life (w/T-Pain), Flashing Lights (w/Dwele), Homecoming. Westlife, Back Home (album #9) (Nov. 5) (#1 in the U.K.); incl. Home, Us Against the World, Something Right. Whigfield (1970-), All In One (album #5). Great White, Back to the Rhythm (album #10) (Aug.); first album since 1999. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky (album #6) (May 15); incl. Sky Blue Sky, You Are My Face. Gretchen Wilson (1973-), One for the Boys (album). Amy Winehouse (1983-2011), Valerie. Wisin and Yandel, Wisin vs. Yandel: Los Extraterrestres (album #6) (Nov. 6); sells 3M copies; incl. Sexy Movimiento, Ahora Es, Oye, Donde Esta El Amor?. Wu-Tang Clan, 8 Diagrams (album #5) (Dec. 11) (#25 in the U.S.); incl. The Heart Gently Weeps. Daddy Yankee, El Cartel: The Big Boss (album #4) (June 5) (#9 in the U.S.); incl. Impacto, Ella Me Levanto. Trisha Yearwood (1964-), Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love (album). Yello, Progress and Perfection (album #12) (Sept. 21). Frank Zappa (1940-93), Buffalo (album) (posth.) (Apr. 1); The Dub Room Special Soundtrack (album) (posth.) (Aug. 24); Wazoo (album) (posth.) (Oct. 30). Movies: Mikael Hafstrom's 1408 (June 22) (Dimension Films) (MGM), based on a 1999 Stephen King short story stars John Cusack as skeptical cynical haunted house debunking author Mike Enslin ("Nothing would make me happier than to experience a paranormal event"), who receive an anon. postcard telling to not enter Room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel on Lexington Ave. in New York City, and takes the dare; Samuel L. Jackson plays hotel mgr. Gerald Olin, who warns Enslin that 56 people in the last 95 years died after entering the room, with nobody lasting more than an hour; does $132M box office on a $25M budget. Cristian Munglu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Aug. 29) is a portrait of an illegal abortion in Communist-era Romania, and wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Julie Taymor's Across the Universe (Oct. 9), a Beatles-infused who-says-pets-can't-drive '60s fantasy stars Jim Sturgess as Jude, Evan Rachel Wood as Lucy, Joe Anderson as Max Carrigan, Dana Fuchs as Sadie, Martin Luther as Jojo, and T.V. Carpio as Prudence, and features over 30 Beatles songs. Alvin and the Chipmunks; #9 movie of 2007 ($217M). Ridley Scott's American Gangster (Nov. 2), based on the Mark Jacobsen story "The Return of Superfly" stars Denzel Washington as black 1970s Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas, who smuggles it in U.S. military planes from Vietnam, and Russell Crowe as detective Richie Roberts. Luc Besson's Arthur and the Invisibles (Jan. 12) stars Madonna (1958-), David Bowie (1947-) and Snoop Dogg as voices in a fairy tale color graphics kiddie film ripoff of King Arthur, "Wizard of Oz", and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids", with the tagline "Adventure awaits in your own backyard"; it is disqualified for Oscar competition for best animated feature film because the animated sequences don't comprise at least 75% of the running time. Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Sept. 2) (Virtual Studios) (Warner Bros.), based on the 1983 Ron Hansen novel stars Brad Pitt as Jesse James (1847-82), Sam Shepard as Frank James (1843-1915), Cassey Affleck as "dirty little coward" Robert "Bob" Ford (1862-92), and Sam Rockwell as his brother Charley Ford (1857-84), who whack him on Apr. 3, 1882; coulda been an Oscar contender if it wasn't so long (160 min.)?; does $15M box office on a $30M budget. Joe Wright's Atonement (Aug. 29) (StudioCanal) (Relativity Media) (Working Title Films) (Focus Features), based on the 2001 Ian McEwan novel stars Saoirse Ronan (1994-) as 13-y.-o. Briony Tallis, who accuses the lover Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) of her older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) of a sex crime he didn't commit, ruining both of their lives, ending up writing a novel as a you know what; Dario Marianelli wins a best original score Oscar; does $129.3M box office on a $30M budget; "Joined by love, separated by fear, redeemed by hope." Robert Ben Garant's Balls of Fury (Aug. 29), co-written by Thomas Lennon is a hilarious comedy about pudgy grown Def Leppard-loving "Gwai-Lo" (round eyes) failed child ping-pong star Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler), who gets involved in a James Bond 007 spy spoof, with George Lopez playing good guy FBI agent Ernie Rodriguez, and Christopher Walken playing bad guy Feng; James Hong plays Master Wong; Thomas Lennon plays gay Nazi ping-ponger Karl Wolfschtagg; "I'm going to Disneyland"; "Ping Pong is not the Macarena"; "Ping Pong, the sport of emperors and bandits alike"; "Game not in paddle, game in you"; also stars Robert Patrick, Jason Scott Lee, Maggie Q, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Aisha Tyler, and Diedrich Bader. Steve Hickner's and Simon J. Smith's Bee Movie (Nov. 2) is an animated comedy starring Jerry Seinfeld as bee Barry B. Benson, who gets fed up with his boring job and falls in love with human florist Vanessa (Renee Zellweger) in New Hive City, then sues humans for eating honey. Loki Mulholland's Believe (Apr. 20) lampoons the U.S. phenomenon of Multi-Level Marketing, starring Larry Bagby as Adamon Pendon. Craig Brewer's Black Snake Moan (Mar. 2), a sequel to "Hustle & Flow" based on George Eliot's "Silas Marner" stars Samuel L. Jackson as blues musician Lazarus, who chains sexually wild white woman Rae (Christina Ricci) to a radiator to save her, while her beau Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) suffers from panic attacks. Josh Gordon's Blades of Glory (Mar. 30) stars Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as feuding Olympic figure skaters Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy, who are banned for life then find a loophole allowing them to skate as a gay pair; Craig T. Nelson plays their coach. Paul Greengrass' The Bourne Ultimatum (Aug. 3), based on the Robert Ludlum novels starring Matt Damon and Julia Stiles is the #7 movie of 2007 ($227M). Neil Jordan's The Brave One (Sept. 14) stars Jodie Foster as New York City radio host Erica Bain, who is brutally attacked and turns into a female Charles Bronson vigilante, with cop Det. Mercer (Terrence Howard) trailing her; Naveen Andrews plays her beau David Kirmani. Billy Ray's Breach (Feb. 16) stars Chris Cooper as FBI spy Robert Hanssen, and Ryan Phillippe as his asst. Eric O'Neill, who helps smoke him out. Gabor Csupo's Bridge to Terabithia (Feb. 16), based on the 1978 Katherine Paterson novel stars AnnaSophia Robb as Leslie Burke, Josh Hutcherson as Jess Aarons, Robert Patrick as his father, and Zooey Deschanel as music teacher Ms. Edmonds. Rob Reiner's The Bucket List (Dec. 15) stars Jack Nicholson as billionaire Kopi Luwak-drinking hospital magnate Edward Cole, and Morgan Freeman as Jeopardy!-loving mechanic Carter Chambers, two terminally-ill men who take a road trip with a last chance wish list of things to do, incl. visiting the Great Pyramid and the Great Wall of China; does $175M box office on a $45M budget. Marcos Siega's Chaos Theory (Apr. 11) is a romantic comedy about 50-something efficiency expert Frank Allen (Ryan Reynolds in bad makeup), who is thrown off by a mistake by his wife Susan (Emily Mortimer) in setting a clock; also stars Stuart Townsend and Sarah Chalke. Mike Nichols' Charlie Wilson's War (Dec. 21) (Relativity Media) (Universal Pictures), based on the 2003 book by George Crile III stars Tom Hanks as U.S. rep. (D-Tex.) (1973-96) Charles Nesbitt "Charlie" Wilson (1933-), who funneled arms to Afghan guerrillas in 1987-7 via Operation Cyclone and broke the Soviets' backs, leading to the downfall of the Soviet Union, then watched helplessly as Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban; also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a rogue Greek-extraction CIA agent, plus believable aging sex goddess Julia Roberts to sell tickets?; does $119M box office on a $75M budget. Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men (Jan. 5) stars 007 Bond reject Clive Owen as disillusioned white bureaucrat Theo Faron, who tries to save the world's last fertile woman (predictably black?) Clare-Hope Ashitey in 2027. Stefan Kuzowitzky's Counterfeiters (Mar. 22) is about Operation Bernhard in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1936. James Wan's Death Sentence (Aug. 31) stars Kevin Bacon as mild-mannered exec Nick Hume in a departure from his usual cerebral roles, getting stabbed, punched, and kicked as he runs through back alleys; "Protect what's yours". D.J. Caruso's Disturbia (Apr. 13), a remake of "Rear Window" without the real flavor and Hitchcock style stars Carrie-Ann Moss and who cares? Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Scaphandre et le Papillon) (May 23), based on the book by Elle ed. Jean-Dominique Bauby stars Mathieu Amalric as Bauby, who suffers a stroke and ends up paralyzed except for his left eye. David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises (Sept. 21) stars Viggo Mortensen as London gangster Nikolai Luzhin, and Naomi Watts as midwife Anna, who uncovers evidence against him to ruin his cover story. Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Oct. 12) stars Cate Blanchett in a reprise of her role as Elizabeth I of England, along with Geoffrey Rush as Sir Francis Walsingham, Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh, and Samantha Morton as Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, as Liz takes on the 1588 Spanish Armada. Disney's Enchanted (Nov. 21) is a comedy starring Amy Adams as fairy tale princess Giselle, who is thrust into reality in modern-day New York City by evil queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon), and ends up in a love affair with flawed atty. Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey), causing her to question her betrothal to fairy tale Prince Edward (James Marsden). Hal Hartley's Fay Grim (Jan. 19), a sequel to "Henry Fool" (1997) stars Parker Posey as precious literary genius garbage man Henry Fool's wife, who is chased by CIA agent Fullbright (Jeff Goldblum) as she travels to Paris to find the ms. of his voluminous but unreadable book to end all books, which now allegedly reveals his exciting spy past and contains sensitive nat. security info.; "An honest man is always in trouble." Richard LaGravenese's Freedom Writers (Jan. 5) stars Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell, teacher at Long Beach's Wilson High School who tries to tame, er, teach feuding black, brown and yellow students by encouraging them keep diaries; based on the real-life story pub. in 1999. Garry Marshall's Georgia Rule (May 11), a comedy starring Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman becomes another "Gigli" for the offscreen antics of food-picker Lindsay Lohan (1986-), earning her an ugly public reprimand from Morgan Creek Productions CEO James G. Robinson; the script by "As Good As It Gets" Mark Andrus about dysfunctional family cliches is massively zonked? Mark Steven Johnson's Ghost Rider (Jan. 15) (Columbia Pictures) (Sony Pictures Releasing), written by Mark Steven Johnson based on the Marvel Comics char. stars Nicolas Cage as stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who sells his soul to fight Blackheart (Wes Bentley), son of Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda), and turns into you know what at night, while his reporter babe Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendes) waits in the wings; the Ghost Rider Theme (Ghost Riders in the Sky) by Spiderbait is a trip in itself; does $228.7M box office on a $110M budget; followed by "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" (2012). Chris Weitz' The Golden Compass (Nov. 27) (New Line Cinema) (Warner Bros. Pictures), based on the 1995 novel "Northern Lights", first in the atheistic His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman (an inverted Milton's Paradise Lost) is about a network of lily-white parallel worlds where people's souls reside in daemons that take the forms of shapeshifting animal pets, while the mean Magisterium (Roman Catholic Church in disguise?) stifles free thought (why? because they say so?), and only Dust, which flows from U to U can free the minds of pubescent children with the Biblical idea of Original Sin?; too bad, in a lame attempt to sap some of the big dough from the Lord of the Rings audience, it takes the deep philosophical novels and cuts the guts out, then ramps it up with digital SFX that give the movie a $180M price tag and add nothing to fill the yawning voids; too bad, after the Catholic League calls for a boycott, and the formula is so co-opted that it fires blanks compared to the novels, it only does $70M box office in the U.S., but makes up for it in internat. sales of $372M on a $180M budget, which New Line Cinema screws up by selling foreign rights in advance, pissing-off Time Warner, who merges it into Warner Brothers; expensive but weak cast incl. Nicole Kidman as mean blonde Marisa Coulter of Jordan College, Oxford (head of the Gen. Oblation Board of Gobblers) (should have been Charlize Theron or Michelle Pfeiffer, or better yet, Madonna, or even Cher, anybody but Kidman?), whimpy Daniel Craig (007) as Lord Asriel (give Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or Leonardo DiCaprio the bucks instead, or use a 20-something black rapper stud to make it more free-thinking?), and (the only one well-cast) Dakota Blue Richards as his niece Lyra Belacqua, the child heroine who can use the last remaining alethiometer (Golden Compass) (truth meter); supporting chars. incl. Witch Clan queen Serafina Pekkala (Eva Green), Texas aeronaut Lee Scoresby (where's-the-vampires Sam Elliott), Iorek Byrnison, prince of the Panserbjorns (armored polar bears) (voice of Ian McKellen), John Faa (Jim Carter), king of the Gyptians of Svalbard, Lyra's daemon Pantalaimon (voice of Freddie Highmore); the casting of Christopher Lee as the first high councilor cross-links it to the Lord of the Rings and takes away from its separate franchising goals?; "What will the quarrel be about?"; "Nothing less than free will. The Magisterium seeks to control not only this world but every world in the Universe." (yawn) Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone (Oct. 19) (Miramax)) (his dir. debut), based on the 1998 Dennis Lehane novel stars his brother Casey Affleck as P.I. Patrick Kenzie, Morgan Freeman as police capt. Jack Doyle, and Ed Harris as Det. Sgt. Remy Bressant in a story about Boston police code of silence that almost works for good for once as they try to get an abused girl away from her mother; does $34M box office on a $19M budget. Davis Guggenheim's Gracie (June 1) stars Carly Schroeder as Grace Bowen, who wants to play soccer with unwilling men; features soccer-playing Elizabeth and Andrew Shue in a tribute to their late older brother William. Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters (Dec. 25) stars Washington as 1935 prof. Melvin B. Tolson (1898-1966) of Wiley College in Texas, who forms the school's first debating squad, which takes on lily-white Harvard (really USC?) in the nat. championship, and wins when the contestants gets personal about their experiences with the KKK, playing the race card. Martin Durkin's The Great Global Warming Single (Mar. 8) (original title: "Apocalypse my arse") debuts on BBC Channel 4, questioning the scientific consensus on global warming, calling it "a lie" and "the biggest scam of modern times", pissing-off the PC police, causing U.K. broadcasting regulatory agency Ofcom to come down on it, making them rebroadcast it and correct three errors. Quentin Tarantino's and Robert Rodriguez' Grindhouse (Apr. 6) (Troublemaker Studios) is a horror double feature consisting of Rodriguez' "Planet Terror" and Tarantino's "Death Proof", bookended with fictional trailers, ads, and in-theater announcements, starring Rose McGowan as machine gun-legged Cherry Darling, Freddy Rodriguez as El Wray, Marley Shelton as Dr. Dakota Block, Michael Biehn as Sheriff Hague, Jeff Fahey as J.T. Hague, Bruce Willis Lt. Muldoon, Kurt Russell, Fergie et al.; does $25.4M box office on a $53M budget. Adam Shankman's Hairspray (July 20), a clean remake of the 1988 John Waters' flick stars 18-y.-o. Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad, singing the opening number "Good Morning Baltimore", Queen Latifah as Motormouth Maybelle, who tries to make every day Negro Day on the Corny Collins Show, her son Seawweed J. Stubbs (Elijah Kelley), Michelle Pfeiffer as station mgr. Velma Von Tussle, Brittany Snow as her daughter Amber, Zac Efron as her beau Link Larkin, all watched over at home by Tracy's fat mother Edna, played by John Travolta, who dances in a 30-lb. fat suit; grosses $119M. David Yates' Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (July 11), about Harry's 5th year at Hogwarts, where he forms Dumbledore's Army to fight Lord Voldemort is darker than the previous flicks in the series, as the horrible evil of Satanism can no longer masquerade as a light joke, but by now they're so addicted it doesn't matter?; #5 movie of 2007 ($292M). Lasse Hallstrom's The Hoax (Apr. 20) stars Richard Gere as failed novelist ("Rudnick's Problem - I like it") Clifford Irving (b. 1930), who runs one of the biggest literary frauds in history by palming off a fake autobio. of Howard Hughes for $100K, plus $900K to "H.R. Hughes" (which his wife cashes in Switzerland), and keeps it from being exposed until it's rolling off the presses of McGraw-Hill on Jan. 9, 1972, when the real Hughes goes on TV via phone disavowing him, after which he ends up doing jail time, later claiming that Howie was really passing him dirt on Tricky Dicky Nixon but cut him loose to make a secret deal saving him from a $137M TWA shareholders' lawsuit and help him with an Air West merger; he also claims that the Watergate break-in was in order to see if the DNC had a copy of his book with its revelations of Nixon's past bribes. Francis Lawrence's I Am Legend (Dec. 14) (Warner Bros.) stars Will Smith as not-too-believable scientist Robert Neville, sole New York City survivor of a world plague that transformed the rest into monsters (Darkseekers); Alice Braga plays Brazilian survivor Anna Montez, who takes care of Ethan (Charlie Tahan); Emma Thompson plays Dr. Alice Krippin, who created the cancer cure that morphs into a vampire maker; real-life daughter Willow Smith plays Will's daughter; filmed on location in New York City; $5M was spent on a scene at the Brooklyn Bridge; #6 movie of 2007 ($256M domestic and $329M foreign on a $150M budget). Todd Haynes' I'm Not There stars six different actors, incl. Richard Gere and Cate Blanchett as battery-powered Bob Dylan. Jon Kasdan's In the Land of Women (Apr. 20) stars Adam Brody as softcore porn writer Carter Webb, whose actress babe Sofia Bunuel (Elena Anaya) breaks up with him, after which he moves on with his quirky grandmother Phyllia (Olympia Dukakis); Kasdan's dir. debut. Dennis Dugan's I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (July 20) stars Adam Sandler as Chuck Levine and Kevin James as Larry Valentine, two straight firefighters pretending to be gay to get domestic partner benefits, while the flick busily indoctrinates the audience on how acceptable the gay lifestyle is. Sean Penn's Into the Wild (Sept. 21), based on the 1996 book by Jon Krakauer stars Emile Hirsch as 24-y.-o. Christopher McCandless, who gives his bank account to charity and hikes to wild Alaska alone under the alias Alexander Supertramp, and dies of starvation in 1992 in an abandoned bus after failing to adequately prepare; the movie attempts to glamorize his quest as a Thoreau thing, and blames the cause of death on poison wild sweet peas, ignoring possible undiagnosed schizophrenia causing him to starve himself to death purposely?; "Careers are a 20th century invention." Parvez Sharma's A Jihad for Love (original title: In the Name of Allah) (May 21) is the first documentary on homosexuality in Islam, incl. gay Iranian asylum seekers in Turkey, a gay imam, and a devout Egyptian lesbian; it is shown in the Arab world for the 1st time in Sept. 2010 in Beirut. Martin Scorsese's The Key to Reserva (Dec. 14) is something about a lost Hitchcock script and a cup of java. Peter Berg's The Kingdom (Aug. 22), based on the June 26, 1996 bombings of the Khobar housing complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia stars Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner in a "balls out", "circle jerk" 5-day Mission: Impossible in Saudi Arabia to locate a terrorist cell in Saudi Arabia, only to find that authorities don't want them there because infidels in their land iz da problem; only Col. Faris Al Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom) befriends them, and guess how he ends up?; the message that the Saudi govt. is barely hanging on against the pro-Osama bin Laden insurgents and is in fact selling out to the West and its big money comes through loud and clear. Marc Forster's The Kite Runner (Dec. 26) stars Khalid Abdalla as Amir, who leaves Calif. for his homeland of Afghanistan to help his friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble. Judd Apatow's Knocked Up (June 1) stars Seth Rogan as Ben Stone, whose pregnant 1-night stand Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) shows up on his doorstep eight weeks later. A.J. Schnack's Kurt Cobain: About a Son (Oct. 3) tries to figure out why he would have wanted to commit suicide. Craig Gillespie's Lars and the Real Girl (Oct. 12) (MGN) stars Ryan Gosling as Lars Lindstrom, who develops a romance with a sex doll (RealDoll) named Bianca; does $11.2M box office on a $12M budget. Robert Redford's Lions for Lambs (Nov. 9) stars Redfod as Calif. prof. Stephen Malley, Meryl Streep as journalist Janine Roth, and Tom Cruise as right-wing U.S. Sen. Jasper Irving yamming it up in order to make right-wingers look bad thanks to liberal Hollyweird writers, while an Army ranger incident in Afghanistan gives Michael Pena and Derek Luke a SAG card; "If you don't stand for something, you might fall for anything"; only Cruise film in 21 years not to gross $100M worldwide. Len Wiseman's Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4.0) (June 12) (Cheyenne Enterprises) (Dune Entertainment) (Ingenious Film Partners) (20th Cent. Fox), the 4th installment in the 1988 "Die Hard" franchise, based on the 1997 Wired mag. article "A Farewell to Arms" by John Carlin stars Bruce Willis as Baby Boomer NYPD dick John McClane, last of the 20th cent. male action heroes, hunting down cyberspace terrorism mastermind Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant), whose lover Mai Linh (Maggie Q) is a Kung Fu fighter; Mary Elizaeth Winstead plays his estranged daughter Lucy; Cliff Curtis plays deputy FBI dir. Miguel Bowman; Justin Long plays Matthew "Matt" Farrell; does $383.5M box office on a $110M budget. Ang Lee's Lust, Caution (Sept. 24) stars Wei Tang as Wang Jiazhi, who gets into a dangerous game with WWII-era Shanghai political boss Mr. Yee (Tony Leung Chiu Wai). Stephen Anderson's animated Meet the Robinsons(Mar. 23) (Walt Disney Pictures) is about 12-y.-o. inventor Lewis (voiced by Jordan Fry and Tom Selleck), who is desperate to be adopted, and his 13-y.-o. time-traveler friend Wilbur Robinson (voiced by Wesley Singerman) , who is trying to prevent the Bowler Hat Guy (voiced by Anderson) from changing his timeline; does $169.3M box office on a $150M budget. Zach Helm's Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (Nov. 16) (20th Cent. Fox) stars Dustin Hoffman as 243-y.-o. toy store owner Edward Magorium, and Natalie Portman as his store mgr. Molly Mahoney, a child piano prodigy who doesn't want to inherit the store, causing it to lose all its magic; does $69.5M box office on a $65M budget. Dani Levy's My Fuehrer: The Really Truest Truth about Adolf Hitler (Mein Führer – Die wirklich wahrste Wahrheit über Adolf Hitler) (Jan. 9) (X Filme) is the first German movie to satirize Hitler, by a Swiss-born Jewish dir. who lives in Berlin and thinks he has a free pass?; Adolf Hitler (Helge Schneider) is too depressed to give his New Year's 1945 speech, so he calls in a Jewish acting coach. Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton (Oct. 12) stars George Clooney as a New York City corporate law firm fixer, who faces the biggest challenge of his who-cares life; Tilda Swinton plays his hardball-playing co-employee Karen Crowder. Michael Winterbottom's A Mighty Heart (June 22), produced by Brad Pitt is his wife Angelina Jolie's vehicle as Mariane Pearl, wife of kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl (Dan Futterman), showing how Karachi is a very big very wondrous place - but no clue how a futzy Jewish journalist can get a gorgeous babe to give him everything? Frank Darabont's Stephen King's The Mist (Nov. 21) (Dimension Film) (MGM), based on the 1980 Stephen King novel stars Toby Jones, Marcia Gay Harden, Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, William Sadler et al. as suckers trapped in a supermarket in Bridgton, Maine while a mysterious mist descends bringing horrific Lovecraftian monsters; does $57.3M box office on an $18M budget. Marc Lawrence's Music and Lyrics (Feb. 9) stars Drew Barrymore as plant waterer Sophie Fisher, who is discovered by fading PoP! band member Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant). Jon Turteltaub's National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Dec. 13) stars Nicolas Cage as treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates, who is told that his great-great-grandfather Thomas Gates was the mastermind behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln from 18 missing pages of John Wilkes Booth's diary, and tries to clear his name, climaxing at Mt. Rushmore, beneath which lies a fabled city of gold; #8 movie of 2007 ($220M/$347.5M). Lee Tamahori's Next (Apr. 27) stars Nicolas Cage as Las Vegas magician Cris Johnson, who uses his psychic abilities to help Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) catch nuclear terrorists. Randall Miller's Nobel Son (Apr. 28) stars Alan Rickman as Eli Michaelson, an SOB who wins the Nobel Prize, after which his son Barkley (Bryan Greenberg) is kidnapped for the $2M prize money, and he refuses to pay. Ethan Coen's and Joel Coen's No Country for Old Men (Nov. 9) (Miramax Films) (Paramount Vantage), based on the 2005 Cormac McCarthy novel set in 1980 Sanderson, Tex. stars Josh Brolin as Vietnam vet and welder Llewelyn Moss, who comes upon a bad drug deal in the Tex. desert and steals a suitcase stuffed with $2M and a devilish transponder (which he is too dumb to find until it's way too late, yet seems to know about as he plays games with it in a motel air duct, one of many plot problems?); Spanish star Javier Bardem plays ultimate hired assassin Anton Chigurh, who wears a silly pageboy haircut and carries a bulky air gun (used in slaughterhouses) because it leaves no bullets behind (like nobody sees him carrying the equipment around?), and who channels the dark morality of the ancient Aztecs while ruthlessly hunting Moss, leaving a trail of corpses who called the coin flip wrong; Woody Harrelson stars as fallible white knight Carson Wells, and Tommy Lee Jones as old man sheriff Ed Tom Bell, who is caught in the middle and fails like an old man, while bad guy Bardem gets away with everything, modulo a few unlikely accidents?; Kelly Macdonald plays Brolin's innocent babe Carla Jean Moss, who is allowed to call heads or tails to save her life, and isn't resolved onscreen until Bardem leaves her and checks his boots for blood on her porch; Gene Jomes play gas station clerk Thomas Thayer, who calls it correctly; Beth Grant plays Carla's mother; the whole flick leaves an impression of an ancient morality play turned inside out?; does $171.6M box office on a $25M budget; "Some of the old-time sheriffs never even wore a gun, some folks find that hard to believe... You can't help but compare yourself against the old-timers"; "There are no laws left. You can't stop what's coming"; "There are no clean getaways." Charles H. Ferguson's No End in Sight (July 27) (Magnolia Pictures) is a documentary critical of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy (Jan. 26) stars Will Oldham as Kurt and Daniel London as Mark on a road trip in the Cascades trying to reach Bagby Hot Springs. J.A. Bayona's The Orphanage (EL Orfanato) (May 20) (Warner Bros.) is a Spanish horror film starring Belen Rueda as Laura, who returns to her childhood orphanage and plans on turning it into a home for disabled children until her adopted Simon (Roger Princep) goes missing; Bayona's dir. debut; "There are children who can see a hidden world, whose imagination opens their eyes"; "A disappearance, a dark place, and the games children play when they're alone in the dark"; does $78.6M box office on a $4M budget. John Curran's The Painted Veil (Jan. 19), based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel and shot on location in beautiful S China around the Lijiang River stars Ed Norton as cholera-fighting klutz English doctor Walter Fane, who goes to Shanghai in 1925 with his new wife Kitty Garstin (Naomi Watts), who doesn't love him but needs a free ride, and has an affair with Charles Townsend (Liev Schreiber), is jilted and ends up loving her real hubby, then has the gigolo's baby. Oren Peli's Paranormal Activity (Oct. 14) (Blumhouse Productions) (Paramount Pictures), shot with a home video camera stars Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat as Katie and Micah, who move into a new house in San Diego, Calif. and set up a camera in their bedroom, discovering that they're haunted by a demon; does $108M U.S. and $193.4M worldwide box office on a $15K budget, becoming the highest ROI film to date (until ?). Gore Verbinski's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (May 19) (Walt Disney Pictures) stars Johnny Deppt as Capt. Jack Sparrow of the Black Pearl, Geoffrey Rush as Capt. Hector Barbarossa, Orlando Bloom as William "Will" Turner Jr., and Keira Knightly as Capt. Elizabeth Swann; #4 movie of 2007 ($309M U.S. and $963.4M worldwide box office on a $300M budget). John Carney's Once (Mar. 23) is an Irish musical starring Glen Hansard of the Frames and Czech singer Marketa Irglova as struggling musicians, performing the hit Falling Slowly. James Foley's Perfect Stranger (Apr. 13) stars Halle Berry as a journalist Rowena Price, who goes undercover to try to smoke out businessman Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis) as her best friend Grace Clayton's (Nicki Aycox) killer along with secret partner Miles Haley (Giovanni Ribisi); a noir with the message of don't leave open windows. Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis is a B&W animated film about a girl growing up in revolutionary Iran. Richard La Gravenese's P.S. I Love You (Dec. 21), based on a novel by Cecelia Ahern stars Hilary Swank as Holly Kennedy, and Gerald Butler as her Irish hubby Gerry, who dies suddenly of a brain tumor and leaves her 10 messages, allowing her to accept new Irish love William "Billy" Gallagher (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), sort of - is there a man alive who would pay to go to this chick flick if he didn't have a chick with him? Brad Bird's computer-animated comedy Ratatouille (June 22) (Walt Disney Pictures) (Pixar Animation Studies) is about Remy the chef rat (Patton Oswalt) , who takes off from Granny Farmer's and heads to Paris, where he works at Gusteau's with human chefs Skinner (Ian Holm) and Linguini (Lou Romano), proving his delicate nose; #11 movie of 2007 ($206M U.S. and $623.7M worldwide box office on a $150M budget). Jaume Balaguero's and Paco Plaza's REC (Nov. 23) (Filmax Internat.) (Magnet Releasing) stars Manuela Velasco as TV recporter Angela Vidal, and Pablo Rosso as her cameraman Pablo, who cover the night shift for a fire station in Barcelona, ending up inn an apt. bldg. full of horrors; becoming one of the first successes of the found footage horror genre; does $32.5M box office on a $2M budget; followed by "REC 2" (2009), "REC 3: Genesis" (2012), and "REC 4: Apocalypse" (2014); refilmed in the U.S. as "Quarantine" (2008). Brian De Palma's Redacted (Nov. 16), about the Mahmudiyah killings in Iraq; later Islamist terrorist Arid Uka, who kills two U.S. airmen in Frankfurt Airport in Germany claims that a clip from this movie spurred him on. Mike Binder's Reign Over Me (Mar. 23) stars Adam Sandler as Charlie Fineman, who lost his family on 9/11, and meets old dentist college roommate Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle), rekindling their friendship to help recover from his grief - every white guy nowadays has an old black college roommate he wants to get back with? Sebastian Gutierrez's Rise: Blood Hunter (July 6) (Ghost House Pictures) (Destination Films) (Samuel Goldwyn Films) stars Lucy Liu as reporter Sadie Blake, who wakes up in a morgue and discovers she's now a vampire, vowing revenge on the vampire cult that did her in and hunting them down one by one; Michael Chiklis plays Det. Clyde Rawlins; does $2.85M box office. Tom Hertz's Rules of Engagement (not to be confused with the 2000 film) is a romantic comedy starring Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price, and Oliver Hudson. Tom Kalin's Savage Grace (May 18), based on a book by Natalie Robins and Steven M.L. Aronson stars Julianne Moore as actress-model Barbara Daly, who marries plastic heir Brooks Baekeland (grandson of Leo), and has an incestuous relationship with their son Tony (Eddie Redmayne). Christopher Cain's September Dawn (Aug. 24) stars Jon Voight in a recreation of the Sept. 11, 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre of a wagon train by unfriendly Mormons. Antoine Fuqua's Shooter (Mar. 23) (Paramount Pictures), based on the novel "Point of Impact" by Stephen Hunter stars Mark Wahlberg as U.S. Marine Scout Sniper Bob Lee Swagger, who is framed for a murder he was hired to prevent and has to elude a massive manhunt while working with rookie FBI agent Nick Memphis (Michael Pena) and Ky. widow Sarah Fenn (Kate Mara); does $95.7M box office on a $61M budget. Chris Miller and Raman Hui's Shrek the Third (May 18) becomes the #2 movie of 2007 ($323M); Cameron Diaz's salary is $30M. Michael Moore's Sicko (June 22) is a documentary of the sick U.S. health care system that lets people die rather than approve their insurance claims, touting Canada's and Hillary Clinton's socialist alternatives. David Silverman's animated The Simpsons Movie (July 21) (20th Cent. Fox) (Gracie Films), based on the TV sitcom stars the voice of Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson, who pollutes the lake in his hometown of Springfield so bad that the EPA encloses the town in a giant glass dome; features the voices of Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Hank Azaria as Moe Szyslak, and Harry Shearer as Mr. Burns and Mr. Smithers; #12 movie of 2007 ($183M U.S. and $536.4M worldwide box office on a $75M budget). Garth Jennings' Son of Rambow (Jan. 22) stars Lee Carter (Will Poulter) as an 80s schoolboy who makes a home movie inspired by "Rambo: First Blood". Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 (May 4) shows Spider-Man going dark while battling New Goblin Harry Osborn (James Franco), Sandman AKA Flint Marko (Thomas Hayden Church) (killer of his Uncle Ben), and Venom AKA Eddie Brock (Topher Grace); does $336M worldwide on a $258M budget. Danny Boyle's Sunshine (Apr. 26) is about a spacecraft that travels to the Sun in 2057 to reignite it with a nuclear bomb with the mass of Manhattan; brings in $32M worldwide. Greg Mottola's Superbad (Aug. 17) capitalizes on the success of the "High School Musical" cable-TV movies to pander to the lecherous side of teenies, doing good box office. Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Dec. 21) is a gory adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, featuring long orgies of neck slicing and corpse dumping, cooking, and eating. Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, (Sept. 27) based on the 1927 Upton Sinclair novel "Oil!" stars Daniel Day-Lewis as 1911 oilman Daniel Plainview, who moves in and steals a bunch of oil land in Little Boston, Calif. using his young "innocent face" son H.W. as a cover story to systematically take it all under false promises while dueling with flawed fundamentalist Christian preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), finally turning into a total slave of Satanic greed, destroying everybody he loves or who loves him and hoarding his filthy lucre; a 1-note performance and a 1-man show, with jarring screeching violins manipulating your emotions?; the I Drink Your Milkshake Scene (taken from the 1924 Teapot Dome Scandal) becomes an Internet hit ("If you have a milkshake and I have a milkshake, my straw reaches across the room, and drinks your milkshake. I drink your milkshake. I drink it up. And when I'm through with your milk shake, do you know what I'm going to do, I'm going to dance"); "I have many wells flowing in many towns. I look at people, and I see nothing work liking"; "I have competition in me. I want no one else to succeed"; "One night I'm gonna to come to you inside of your house wherever you're sleeping, and I'm gonna cut your throat"; "What was the name of the farm next to the Hill House?" James Mangold's 3:10 to Yuma (Sept. 7), a remake of the 1957 movie based on an Elmore Leonard story stars Russell Crowe as outlaw Ben Wade, and Christian Bale as good guy rancher Dan Evans, who must put him on the you know what in Contention to receive a $200 reward. David Fincher's Thriller (Mar. 2), about the 1960s Zodiac killer stars Jake Gyllenhaal as cartoonist Robert Graysmith (b. 1942), who tries to find him even after he stops, detectives shelve the case, and copycats take over; too bad, the movie plays fast and loose wih facts and tries too hard to convict long-deceased Arthur Leigh Allen (1933-92)? Michael Bay's Transformers (June 28), based on the U.S. TV show that aired from 1984-7 about the evil Decepticons, led by Megatron, vs. the good Autobots, led by Optimus Prime stars Shia LaBeouf as nerd Sam Witwicky, who starts it all by buying a beat-up souped-up yellow 1976 Camaro that is actually the Transformer Bumblebee, and ends up on the run with his new jock babe Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox); well-nuanced plot and emphasis on the humans rises it above the TV series; hauls in a record $27.4M in its debut, beating the $15.7M set by "Dead Man's Chest" last year; #3 movie of 2007 ($319M) ($709M worldwide); followed by "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (2009), which grosses $836M worldwide (#2 in 2009). Michael Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat (Dec. 7) (Legendary Pictures) (Bad Hat Harry Productions) (Warner Bros. Pictures) is set on Halloween in Warren Valley, Ohio, where the mysterious child trick-or-treater Sam (Quinn Lord) enforces the rules; Dylan Baker plays Principal Steven Wilkins, Anna Paquin plays Laurie, and Brian Cox/Gerald Paetz play Kreeg; does $12M box office, becoming a cult film. Julie Delpy's Two Days in Paris (May 17), written and starred in by Delpy is about a romance from Hell with real life ex-boyfriend Adam Goldberg. Hardcash Productions, Undercover Mosque (Jan. 15); exposes violent Muslim extremism in West Midlands, England mosques, pissing-off Muslim groups, who try to make it about the investigators instead of themselves. Olivier Dahan's La Vie en Rose (La Mome) (Feb. 8) stars first-time actress Marion Cotillard (1975-) as "Little Sparrow" Edith Piaf (1916-63), who dies an early death from alcohol, morphine, and cancer in a typical weepy French talking heads movie; does $86.3M box office on a $25M budget; Piaf becomes the first to win a best actress Oscar for a French-language role. Tom McCarthy's The Visitor (Sept. 7) (Overture Films) stars Richard Jenkins as mild-mannered aging Conn. economics prof. Walter Vale, who gets a whole new lease on life by trying to help illegal Syrian immigrant Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) evade deportation along with his illegal mother Mouna (Hiam Abbass) while learning to play the djembe in solidarity; does $18M box office on a $4M budget. Adrienne Shelly's Waitress (May 25) stars Keri Russell as a piemaker at Joe's Pie Shop; 40-y.-o. dir. Shelly is murdered in Manhattan before the Jan. Sundance Film Festival debut. Jake Kasdan's Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story stars John C. Reilly as a Johnny Cash clone. Dimitri Collingridge's The War on Britain's Jews? stars journalist Richard Littlejohn; broacast on BBC-TV on July 9. Walt Becker's Wild Hogs (Mar. 2), written by Brad Copleland stars John Travolta, William H. Macy, Tim Allen, and Martin Lawrence in an aging biker movie; #13 movie of 2007 ($168M). Christian Petzold's Yella stars Nina Hoss as a German babe who leaves a small town for a big city job with her psycho estranged husband Ben (Hinnerk Schonemann), who says "I love you, Yella" as he drives their car off a bridge into the Elbe River. Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth (Oct. 26), based on the Mircea Eliade novel stars Tim Roth as Dominic Matei, a 70-y.-o. Romanian linguistic prof. who is struck by a bolt of lightning just as he's trying to kill himself, and turns into a rejuvenated Frankenstein pursued by the Nazis. Nonfiction: Diane Ackerman, The Zookeeper's Wife (Sept. 4); the true story of Antonina and Jan Zabinski of the Warsaw Zoo, who save 300 Jews during WWII; filmed in 2017. Peter Ackroyd (1949-), Newton; Thames: Sacred River. Toshiko Akiyoshi (1929-), Life With Jazz (autobio.). Alan Alda (1936-), Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself (autobio.) (Sept. 4). Elizabeth Alexander (1962-), Power and Possibility. Ayaan Hirsi Ali (1969-), Infidel; Muslim oppression of women from clitoris removal on up; after hers was removed as a girl in Muslim Somalia she became an aclitheist, er, atheist and was elected to the Dutch parliament, marrying British historian Niall Ferguson. Woody Allen (1935-), Mere Anarchy (essays); The Insanity Defense: The Complete Prose. Lisa Alther (1944-), Kinfolks: Falling Off the Family Tree: The Search for My Mulungeon Ancestors; by the author of "Kinflicks" (1975). Christopher Peter Andersen (1949-), Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve. Patrick Anderson, The Triumph of the Thriller (Feb.); how genre fiction about "cops, crooks and cannibals" has become mainstream. David W. Anthony, The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World; proposes the Revised Steppe Theory of the Kurgan Hypothesis, attributing the spread of Indo-European languages about 4K B.C.E. to the domestication of the horse and invention of the wheel in the Eurasian Grass-Steppe. Roy Atkinson (1952-), The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (Liberation Trilogy #2); Where Valor Rests: Arlington National Cemetery; NYT bestseller. Andrew J. Bacevich (1947-), The Long War: A New History of U.S. National Security Policy Since World War II. Carl E. Bartecchi, A Doctor's Vietnam Journal. Ishmael Beah (1980-), A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier; forced to fight for the Sierra Leonan army at age 12, then rehabilitated; only 300K left to go? Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (autobio.). Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe, An Inconvenient Book. Jeff Belanger (1974-), The Ghost Files: Paranormal Encounters, Discussion, and Research from the Vaults of Ghostvillage.com (Sept.). Marshall Berman (1940-), New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg. Pope Benedict XVI (1927-), Jesus of Nazareth; internat. bestseller. Carl Bernstein (1944-), A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton (June 5). Michael R. Beschloss (1955-), Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989; bestseller. James Riley Blake (1979-), Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life (autobio.); Am. tennis star tells of his struggles with racism, dreadlocks, running into a steel post et al. Bert Boin (1925-2007), A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change: The Role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Nov. 17); semi-autobio. Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018), No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach (Oct. 30). Joe Boyd, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s; or, if you remember the 1960s you weren't there?; an insider in the folk-rock music biz and how Amsterdam radicals leave white bicycles around for people to ride for free. Pattie Boyd and Penny Juror, Wonderful Tonight. David Bret, Clark Gable: Tormented Star; claims he started out as a gay ho until his daddy called him a sissy, causing him to go straight and adopt a macho image. Douglas Brinkley (1960-), Gerald R. Ford; The Reagan Diaries; Road Novels 1957-1960. Tom Brokaw (1940-), Boom! Voices of the Sixties: Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today. Dan Brown (1964-), The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle (memoir); not the Da Vinci Code Dan Brown (1964-), just a lucky New York City teacher. Mick Brown, Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector; "I have devils inside that fight me, and I'm my own worse enemy". Tina Brown (1953-), The Diana Chronicles (June 12); joins 180+ other books on Princess Di, yet goes #1 on July 8 - because she looks like her? Sylvia Browne (1936-2013), The Two Marys: The Hidden History of the Mother and Wife of Jesus. Eugene Buchanan, Brothers on the Bashkaus; 26-day white-knuckle rafting trip in Siberia. Patrick J. Buchanan (1938-), State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America; how amnesty for the 12M known illegal aliens would end the U.S. as we know it, and therefore Pres. Bush is either too dumb too understand the magnitude of the problem, or you know what - fear-mongering sells, where do I sign? Art Buchwald (1925-2007), Too Soon to Say Goodbye: I Don't Know Where I'm Going; I Don't Even Know Why I'm Here (autobio.); written in summer 2006 on Martha's Vineyard while dying from kidney disease, his doctors giving him weeks but ending up lasting a year. Vincent Bugliosi (1935-), Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (May 15); claims there is no conspiracy and it's a simple slam dunk case for a prosecutor of his caliber in this 1.5M-word 1,612-page book, devoting much space attempting to shred conspiracy theorists; "The case is a very simple case" - or your mind is a very simple case? Avraham Burg (1955-), Defeating Hitler. Kenneth Burke (1897-1993), Kenneth Burke on Shakespeare (posth.). Nina Burleigh, Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt. Augusten Burroughs (1965-), A Wolf at the Table. Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk's Manufacturing Dissent (Mar. 10) exposes the cracks in Michael Moore. Fritjof Capra (1939-), The Science of Leonardo: Inside the Mind of the Great Genius; how he anticipates modern complex systems theory. Jimmy Carter (1924-), Sunday Mornings in Plains: Bible Study with Jimmy Carter; Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope; accompanied by a mail campaign begging for donations. Duane Chapman (with Laura Morton), You Can Run But You Can't Hide. Don Cheadle, Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond (May); like he told U.S. Senators in Feb., if the 500K now dead aren't enough to make them roll, "maybe a million is more like the target number". Deepak Chopra (1946-), The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore. Joshua Clark, Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone. Bill Clinton (1946-), Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World; his charitable foundation's work in Africa et al. Margaret Coel, The Girl with Braided Hair. Richard A. Cohen (1952-), Gay Children, Straight Parents: A Plan for Family Healing. Stephen Colbert (1964-), I Am America (And So Can You (Oct. 9). Paul Collier (1949-), The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It (Apr. 15). Ward Connerly (1939-), Creating Equal; how affirmative action contradicts the principles of MLK Jr. et al. Jerome Robert Corsi (1946-), The Late Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada (July 4); warns of a horrible apocalyptic North Am. Union. Ann Coulter (1961-), If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans. Michael J. Coumatos, William B. Scott and William J. Birnes, Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III, A Wargame Scenario; a directed-energy weapon in Tajikistan knocks out satellites. Gary Dahl (1936-2015), Advertising for Dummies; inventor of the Pet Rock. Robert Dallek, Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power; their love-hate relationship and how they insured that the end of the Vietnam war wouldn't hurt Nixon's 1972 reelection chances. Sara Davidson (1943-), LEAP: What Will We Do with the Rest of Our Lives?; the Baby Boomer generation. Thomas M. DeFrank, Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conservations with Gerald R. Ford; his Apr. 17, 1974 admission that he knew Nixon was going to resign. Christopher Deliso, The Coming Balkan Caliphate: (June 30); radical Islamic takeover threatened. Lawrence "Larry" Devlin (1922-2008), Chief of Station, Congo: Fighting the Cold War in a Hot Zone; how he encouraged the Mobutu coup in 1965. Annie Dillard (1945-), The Maytrees. Thomas DiLorenzo, Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe (Nov. 27). Anthony Doerr, Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World. James Donovan (1946-), A Terrible Glory; the Battle of the Little Bighorn and how Custer was part blowhard. Tamara Draut, Strapped: Why America's 20-and-30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead; how the skyrocketing cost of college is killing the new grads with debt, making them become mercenaries looking for big bucks to pay the loans, averaging $20K, so their worthless profs. can make $90K a year in the Internet age when their lectures could be precorded once and played forever, and the bums laid off? Eric Drexler (1955-), Engines of Creation 2.0: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology (Feb.); update of the 1986 ed. Dinesh D'Souza (1961-), The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 (Jan. 16); claims that U.S. leftists and Hollyweird brought it on themselves by exporting their atheism and war against religion along with immorality to Muslim countries, pissing them off and creating ready recruits for al-Qaida; What's So Great About Christianity. Martin Bauml Duberman (1930-), The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein. Tony Dungy (1955-) (with Nathan Whitaker), Quiet Strength; first African-Am. coach to win the Super Bowl (Feb. 4, 2007). Eve Ensler (1953-), Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security-Obsessed World. Joseph Epstein (1937-), In a Cardboard Belt!: Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage. Pepe Escobar, Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War. M. Stanton Evans (1934-), Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies (Nov. 6); claims there was a U.S. govt. coverup of how right he really was. Susan C. Faludi (1959-), The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America; how the 9/11 attack caused Americans to return to the frontier mentality of circling the wagons while the men do the fighting and the weak women reload their weapons and put out fires? Sebastian Faulks (1953-), Engleby; Irish Mike Engleby AKA Michele Watts AKA M.K. Watson. James Henry Fetzer (1940-), The 9/11 Conspiracy (Mar. 22); points out the inconsistencies, and claims the U.S. govt. did it with a satellite-based weapon. Robert Finch (1943-), The Iambics of Newfoundland: Notes from an Unknown Shore. Antony Flew (1923-), There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (Oct. 23). Mick Foley (1965-), The Hardcore Diaries. Stephen Fox (1938-), Homeland Security: Aliens, Citizens, and the Challenge to American Civil Liberties in World Waa II. Vicente Fox (1942-), Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith and Dreams of a Mexican President (autobio). Richard B. Freeman (1943-), America Works. Gangaji (1942-), The Diamond in Your Pocket: Discovering Your True Radiance. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, My Year Inside Radical Islam: A Memoir (Feb. 1); Jewish boy turns radical Muslim, then after 9/11 goes Christian and fights terrorism. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (1950-), Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own. Jeff Gerth, Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton - cool off with Carrier? Elizabeth M. Gilbert (1969-), Eat, Pray, Love (memoir); bestseller about her divorce, depression, trip to Italy, India, and Indonesia, ' and "lasting experience of God". Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change; the Nazis started out as liberals?; "What we call liberalism - the refurbished edifice of American Progressivism - is in fact a descendant and manifestation of fascism. This doesn't mean it's the same thing as Nazism. Nor is it the twin of Italian Fascism. But Progressivism was a sister movement of fascism, and today's liberalism is the daughter of Progressivism. One could strain the comparison and say that today's liberalism is the well-intentioned niece of European fascism. She is hardly identical to her uglier relations, but she nonetheless carries an embarrassing family resemblance that few will admit to recognizing"; "Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good"; "Woodrow Wilson was the twentieth century's first fascist dictator." Mary Catherine Gordon (1949-), Circling My Mother: A Memoir. Al Gore (1948-), The Assault on Reason; the negative effects of the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism and blind faith. Farley Granger (1925-) and Robert Calhoun, Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway (autobio.); handsome actor reveals his bi love affairs incl. Patricia Neal, Ava Gardner, and Leonard Bernstein. Colin S. Gray, Fighting Talk: Forty Maxims on War, Peace and Strategy; favorite of USMC Gen. Mad Dog Mattis. Peter Gray (1923-2015), Modernism: The Lure of Heresy: from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond (Nov. 21); about the modernist rebellion in the arts driven by "the lure of heresy" against the establishment and its rules and by a compulsion to explore the artist's interior world, starting in 1840s Paris and spreading to world capitals incl. Berlin and New York City, incl. Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert, Oscar Wilde, Georg Kaiser, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, Franz Kafka, D.W. Griffiths, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Walter Gropius, Arnold Schoenberg, Charles Ives, Knut Hamsun, and John Cage, revolting against the bourgeoisie yet relying on them for their market ("If my work is accepted, I must move on to the point where it is not" - John Cage), enduring totalitarianism and surviving until 1960s Pop Art (Andy Warhol et al.) killed the movement after 120 years, "a good long run", with Frank Gehry et al. attempting to revive it. "Every historian has informally an anthropology, without ever using the word." Jan Crawford Greenburg, Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court; "Roe v. Wade" bent the court and sucked its life out? Alan Greenspan, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World. Germaine Greer (1939-), Shakespeare's Wife. William Norman Grigg (1963-), Liberty in Eclipse: The Rise of the Homeland Security State. Jurgen Habermas (1929-) and Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) (1927-), The Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion. David Halberstam (1934-2007), The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (Sept.) (posth.) (last book); attempts to shred Gen. Douglas MacArthur's rep. Leor Halevi, Muhammad's Grave: Death Rites and the Making of Islamic Society (May). Thom Hartmann (1951-), Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America's Original Vision. Edward T. Haslam, Dr. Mary's Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses are Linked to Lee Harvey Oswald; he was involved in the lab creation of HIV? Rutger Hauer (1944-) (with Patrick Quinlan), All Those Moments (autobio.). Brian Haughton, Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge, and Ancient Mysteries (Jan. 15). Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), To the Castle and Back (autobio.); the Hradcany Hapsburg Palace (world's biggest) overlooking Prague, residence of the Czech pres., which he traversed on a Big Wheel; "The world might actually be changed by the force of truth, the power of a truthful word, the strength of a free spirit, conscience, and responsibility." Lesley Hazleton, Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible's Harlot Queen. Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die; how phony ideas that become widely accepted all follow the "SUCCES" principle: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, (Memorable) Story; a ring of kidney thieves, the razor blades in Halloween apples et al. Chris Hedges (1956-), American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (Jan. 9); Pat Robertson et al. want to build a global Christian empire, and should be taken seriously? Paul Heelas, Spiritualities of Life: Histories and Explanations. Robert Higgs, Neither Liberty Nor Safety. Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (The Case Against Religion (May 1); "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children" - so start a new one, like Godless Gommunism? Douglas Richard Hofstadter (1945-), I Am A Strange Loop; claims that each human "I" is distributed over numerous brains; "In the end, we are self-perceiving, self-inventing, locked-in mirages that are little miracles of self-reference." David Joel Horowitz (1939-), Indoctrination U: The Left's War Against Academic Freedom. Daniel Walker Howe (1937-), What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (Oct. 29) (Pulitzer Prize); title comes from Samuel F.B. Morse's first telegraph message; praises the growth of the market economy, the rise of dem. organized Protestant churches and other assocs., the emergence of mass political parties, and technological developments incl. mail service, newspapers, books, telegraph, trains, steamboats, canals, roads, but disses slavery, forced relocation of Native Am., and imperialist adventures in Mexico et al. - every day thousands of people just like you are transforming their brains with Brain Beast? Jorg Guido Hulsmann, Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism. Ed Husain (Mohammed Mahbub Hussain) (1975-), The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left (May). David R. Ignatius (1950-), Body of Lies; original title "Penetration"; CIA agent Roger Ferris. Laura Ingraham, Power to the People. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Fourth Assessment Report (4 vols.); claims to be the work of 2.5K scientific expert reviewers, 800 contributing authors, 450 lead authors from 130 countries, and 6 years of work; in 2010 it is found to contain erroneous claims on the rate of glacier retreat et al., incl. erroneous claims that natural disasters incl. hurricanes and floods can be linked to global warming. Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe; he wasn't a backward student and didn't flunk math, mastering calculus by age 15; he began to adopt his frumpy professorial look by age 30 (1909). Denise Jackson (with Ellen Vaughn), It's All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life. A.J. Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically; an agnostic Jew tries to follow all the rules in the Bible. Chalmers Ashby Johnson (1931-), Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic - I warned ya? Mike Jones (with Sam Gallegos), I Had Something to Say: The Man Who Outed Ted Haggard Speaks; a gay relaxation Denver businessman and his meth-loving client Art from Kansas City. Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932-2007), Travels with Herodotus; Encountering the Other: The Challenge for the Twenty-First Century. Garry Kasparov (1963-), How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves from the Board to the Boardroom. Daren Kemp and James R. Lewis (eds.), Handbook of New Age. Joshua Key (with Lawrence Hill), The Deserter's Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away From the War in Iraq; goes AWOL 4 mo. before the beginning of the Iraqi insurgency; his app to stay in Canada as a refugee is denied. Vaclav Klaus (1941-), Blue Planet in Green Shackles: What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?; "The theory of global warming and the hypothesis on its causes, which has spread around massively nowadays, may be a bad theory, it may also be a valueless theory, but in any case it is a very dangerous theory." Edward Klein (1937-), Katie: The Real Story. John Klein, Praise from a Future Generation: The Assassination of JFK and the First Generation Critics of the Warren Report (Sept.). Naomi Klein (1970-), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Sept. 4); NYT bestseller; how developed countries incl. Chile, Poland, Russ, and Iraq exploit nat. crises to push through the unpopular neoliberal free market policies of Milton Friedman. filmed in 2009 by Michael Winderbottom. Larry Kolb, America at Night: The True Story of Two Rogue CIA Operatives, Homeland Security Failures, Dirty Money and a Plot to Steal the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election; CIA man Richard Hirschfeld and Bob Sensi, chmn. of Repubs. Abroad plot to "swift-boat" the Kerry campaign by getting Miami-based Turkish money launderer Engin Yesil to merge his co. Radiant Telecom with dummy front Ntera that is run by Kerry's campaign treasurer Robert Farmer, apparently linking him to al-Qaida? Jonathan Kozol (1936-), Letters to a Young Teacher. Morine Krissdottir, Descent of Memory: The Life of John Cowper Powys. Mark Kurzem, The Mascot; his father Uldis (Alex Kurzem), who claims to be a Holocaust survivor; his claims are later questioned. Wally Lamb (1950-), The Hour I First Believed. Anne Lamott (1954-), Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith; "Sin and grace are not opposite, but partners, like the genes in DNA, or the stages of childbirth"; "You've got to wonder what Jesus was like at 17. They don't even talk about it in the Bible, he was apparently so awful"; "God loves them [Dick Cheney and Saddam Hussein], because God loves. This... does not make sense to me." David S. Landes (1924-2013), Dynasties: Fortunes and Misfortunes of the World's Great Family Businesses (Feb.). Barry Lando, Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush (Jan. 17). William Langewiesche, The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor; the rise of Pakistani nuke-spreading scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer "Wrath of" Khan; "Nuclear weapons technology has become a useful tool for the weak... The technology has become so simple that there are no technical barriers." Frances Moore Lappe (1944-), Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad. Joe Layden, The Last Great Fight: The Extraordinary Tale of Two Men and How One Fight Changed Their Lives Forever; the 10th round KO of Mike Tyson by 42-to-1 underdog James "Buster" Douglas in Tokyo on Feb. 12, 1990, which leads to the demise of prof. heavyweight boxing as a money-making sport when Douglas loses in round 4 to Evander Holyfield then gets diabetes, and Tyson starts getting in trouble with the law? Melvin Leffler, For the Soul of Mankind. Jonah Lehrer (1981-), Proust Was a Neuroscientist. Peter A. Lillback, Wall of Misconception: Does Separation of Church and State Mean Elimination of God from Public Life?; how Thomas Jefferson's phrase is being twisted by the ACLU to subvert the prohibition of Congress from prohibiting the free exercise of religion by adding in their own words "except in public life". Graham Lord (1943-), Joan Collins: The Biography of an Icon. John Lott (1958-), Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't (June 25); attempt to refute some arguments in "Freakonomics" (2005). Marcus Luttrell (with Patrick Robinson), Lone Survivor. Heather MacDonald, Victor Davis Hanson, and Steven Malanga, The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today's. Margaret MacMillan, Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World; claims that only skilled and educated Mexicans should be allowed to immigrate from the U.S. George Mandler (1924-), A History of Modern Experimental Psychology. Betty Marden, Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience; niece of Betty Hill writes about the 1961 Zeta Reticuli Incident. Trevor Marriott, Jack the Ripper: The 21st Century Investigation: A Top Murder Squad Detective Reveals the Ripper's Identity at Last! (Sept. 28); claims he's really German sailor Carl Feigenbaum (-1894). Steve Martin (1945-), Born Standing Up (autobio.) (Nov. 20). Joseph Massad, Desiring Arabs; claims there are no gays among Muslims; "Queer is about resistance to Islam"; "There is no Arabic transliteration of queer. It is a judgmental notice of deviance." John Matteson (1961-), Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father (first book) (Pulitzer Prize). John McCain (1936-2018) and Mark Salter, Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them (Aug.); about character in public life, hint hint. John F. McDiarmid, The Monarchical Republic of Early Modern England: Essays in Response to Patrick Collinson. Ian McEwan (1948-), Complete Surrender; the story of his mommy's 1942 indiscretion. William S. McFeely (1930-), Portrait: The Life of Thomas Eakins. Bill McKibben (1960-) et al., Fight Global Warming Now; handbook for activists. John Mearshimer and Steven Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy; "Maybe be a book that anti-Semites will love, but it is not necessarily an anti-Semitic book"; "written in haste... repented at leisure" (Walter Russell Mead). Robyn Meredith, The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China, and What it Means for All of Us; "tectonic economics"; "The two countries have one thing in common, their transformations - and the way they will transform the globe - are as stunning as any the world has seen since America itself emerged onto the world economic stage"; "Farmers were displaced by the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Sweatshop workers lost their livelihoods to assembly lines in the 20th. History is about to repeat itself, sending a spasm through the world's job markets." Ralph Nader (1934-), The Seventeen Traditions; "A love story for my mom and dad." Peter S. Onuf (1945-), The Mind of Thomas Jefferson. Andrew P. Napolitano (1950-), A Nation of Sheep (Oct.). Vali Nasr, The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future (Apr. 17); the reemergence of the 7th cent. Sunni-Shia war. Scott Renolds Nelson, Steel Drivin' Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend; is the legend of the black Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad man based on 5'1" John William Henry (1851-74), who was railroaded into prison to work in a railroad gang? Michael B. Oren, Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to 2006 (Jan. 16); New Essays on Zionism. Suze Orman (1951-), Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny. P.J. O'Rourke (1947-), On the Wealth of Nations: Books That Changed the World; reduces the 900-page original to a 216-page laugh riot? Joel Osteen (1963-), Become a Better You (Oct.). Nicholas Ostler (1952-), Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin; argues that it's not a dead language. Elinor Ostrom (1933-), Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice. Elaine Pagels (1943-) and Karen L. King, Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (Mar. 6); how Judas' side to the Gospel story is the Gnostic view that there is a pure spiritual realm beyond the physical world. Michael Parenti (1933-), The Culture Struggle. Trita Parsi, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States. Eboo Patel, Saving Each Other, Saving Ourselves; Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. Randy Pausch (1960-2008), The Last Lecture (Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams); bestseller based on the Sept. 18, 2007 lecture by a Carnegie Mellon U. computer science prof. who is dying of pancreatic cancer, becoming a dying celeb. Joseph Chilton Pearce (1926-), Death of Religion and the Rebirth of Spirit: A Return to the Intelligence of the Heart. John Perkins (1945-), The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption; A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption. Francis Edwards Peters, The Voice, the Word, the Books: The Sacred Scriptures of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ralph Peters (1952-), Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the 21st Century. James Petras, Rulers and Ruled in the U.S. Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militants. Walid Phares, The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy. Kevin Phillips (1940-), Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism. James Pearson, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution; the JFK assassination shattered traditional liberalism? Steven Pinker (1954-), The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature (Sept. 10); NYT bestseller that "probes the mystery of human nature by examining how we use words." Anna Politkovskaya (1958-2006), A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corrupt, and Death in Putin's Russia (May); the author was murdered in fall 2006 for telling how "lives have been devastated by Putin's policies". Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food. Alvin F. Poussaint (1934-) and Bill Cosby (1937-), Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors. Martha Raddatz, The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family; about Apr. 4, 2004, Black Sunday. Craig Raine, T.S. Eliot. Phil Ramone (1934-2013) and Chuck Granata, Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music (Oct. 9). Marcus Raskin (1934-) and Robert Spero, The Four Freedoms Under Siege: The Clear and Present Danger from Our National Security State. Diane Ravitch (1938-), EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004), The Reagan Diaries; "The diaries show Ronald Reagan as a more active and alert chief executive than his detractors care to admit" (NYT Book Review). Martha Reeves (1941-), The Fire of Your Life; pub. under the alias Maggie Ross. James Reston Jr. (1941-), The Conviction of Richard Nixon: The Untold Story of the Frost/Nixon Interviews. Richard Rhodes (1937-), Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race (Oct. 9). Cal Ripken Jr. (1960-), Get in the Game; then persevere? Andrew Roberts (1963-), A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900; takes up where Churchill's 1956 history leaves off. Jim Rogers (1942-), A Bull in China: Investing Profitably in the World's Greatest Market (Dec. 4). David M. Rohl (1950-), The Lords of Avaris: Uncovering the Legendary Origins of Western Civilisation (Feb. 1). John Ross (1938-2011), Zapatistas! Making Another World Possible: Chronicles of Resistance 2000-2006. Murray Newton Rothbard (1926-95), The Betrayal of the American Right (posth.). Victoria Rowell (1959-), The Women Who Raised Me; black orphan in Maine becomes prof. dancer-actress and advocate for foster children. Joanna Russ (1937-2011), The Country You Have Never Seen. Acharya S (D.M. Murdock), Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of the Christ; questions the historicity of Jesus. Oliver Wolf Sacks (1933-), Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (Oct. 16). Peter Schiff (1963-), Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse; blames U.S. govt. policy for threatening hyperinflation. Peter Dale Scott (1929-), The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America (Sept.). Simon Sebag-Montefiore (1965-), Young Stalin; sheds new light on his own coverups. Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr. and Aziz Z. Huq, Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror; how 9/11 gave Bush an excuse to go for it, expanding his powers by sidestepping the Congress and judiciary. John Selby (1945-), Let Love Find You: Seven Steps to Open Your Heart to Love. Mary Lee Settle (1918-2005), Learning to Fly: A Writer's Memoir (Aug. 17) (posth.); ed. Anne Freeman. Melville Shavelson (1917-2007), How to Succeed in Hollywood Without Really Trying, P.S. - You Can't! (autobio). Ellen R. Sheeley, Reclaiming Honor in Jordan: A National Public Opinion on "Honor" Killings (Mar. 31). Robert J. Shiller (1946-), Bubble Trouble; predicts the late 2008 U.S. housing market collapse, zooming him to the top of the heap among world economists. Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression; did FDR's New Deal prolong the Depression?; "The big question about the American Depression is not whether war with Germany or Japan ended it. It is why the Depression lasted until that war." Walid Shoebat, Why We Want to Kill You: The Jihadist Mindset and How to Defeat It (Mar. 3). Lee M. Silver, Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family; reprogenetics, the new eugenics, to create "cognition-enhance GenRich". T. Simoncini, Cancer is a Fungus; claims it should be treated with sodium bicarbonate; "There is pressing need for new, life-giving sap to impart vigour to an asphyxiating theoretical structure whose philosophy, research, and practice no longer seems aligned with our times. The advanced and demanding society in which we live is no longer satisfied with the domination, for a limited time, of any disease by using the knowledge of physics and chemistry." Fred Singer (1924-) and Dennis T. Avery (1936-), Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years (Feb.); "The Earth is warming but physical evidence from around the world tells us that human-emitted carbon dioxide has played only a minor role in it. Instead, the mild warming seems to be part of a natural 1,500-year climate cycle (plus or minus 500 years) that goes back at least one million years." Peter Singer (1946-), Lori Gruen, and Laura Grabel (eds.), Stem Cell Research: The Ethical Issues. Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010), The End of Days: Armageddon and Prophecies of the Return; Journeys to the Mythical Past. Dr. Ian Smith, Extreme Fat Smash Diet; "All of America needs to lose weight, but African-Americans need it more. Almost 80% of black women and 70% of black men are overweight." David Solway, The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity (Mar. 27); links Islamic terrorism with anti-Semitism. Susan Sontag (1933-2004), At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches (posth.). Patrick Sookhdeo, Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam. Thomas Sowell (1930-), A Man of Letters; Economic Facts and Fallacies. Robert Spencer (1962-), Religion of Peace? Why Christanity Is and Islam Isn't (July 17). Paul Starr (1949-), Freedom's Power: The True Force of Liberalism. Robert Stone (1937-), Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties; his days with Ken Kesey; "We were all logrolling down the rapids of the nineteen sixties." John Stossel (1947-), Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel - Why Everything You Know is Wrong; bestseller. Rick Strassman, The Spirit Molecule; claims that DMT, secreted by the pineal gland is psychedelic. Cass R. Sunstein (1954-), Republic.com 2.0. James Tabor, Forever on the Mountain; the 1967 Mount McKinley tragedy. Nassim Nicholas Taleb (1960-), The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Apr. 17); 2nd ed. 2010; NYT bestseller (3M copies) about how major scientific discoveries tend to be undirected and unpredicted "black swans" (outliers), incl. the PC and Internet, forming counterexamples to the Western idea that "All swans are white" (originated by Juvenal in 82 C.E.); how banks should "avoid being the turkey" by identifying areas of vulnerability. Daniel Tammet, Born on a Blue Day (autobio.); the English savant who sees numbers as colors. George Tenet (1953-), At the Center of the Storm (Apr. 30); causes a Bush admin. backlash with his allegation that his "slam dunk" statement was taken out of context and was actually of little importance, but was later used to cut him loose and make him into a patsy, adding "As if you needed me to say slam dunk" on Apr. 29 on 60 Minutes, where he also claims that the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques" gained more valuable intel than any other method. Clarence Thomas (1948-), My Grandfather's Son (autobio.). Kenneth R. Timmerman (1953-), Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender. Frank J. Tipler (1947-), The Physics of Christianity; tries to prove the Bible using the Omega Point. Emmanuel Todd (1951-) and Youssef Courbage, Le Rendez-Vous des Civilisations; criticizes Huntington's Thesis of a clash of civilizations, predicting that mass literacy and a birth rate decline will result in a "de-Islamicised Muslim world". Jeffrey Toobin, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Serge Trifkovic (1954-), The Sword of the Prophet: Islam History, Theology, Impact on the World (July 25). Donald Trump (1946-) and Bill Zanker, Trump: Think BIG and Kick Ass in Business and Life (Oct. 23). Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (1938-), Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History; how her slogan in the obscure 1971 scholarly article Vertuous Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668-1735 went viral in 1976. John Updike (1932-2009), Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism. William T. Vollmann, Poor People; world poverty in the 9/11 age. Ibn Warraq (1946-), Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism; exposes him as a dhimmi imposter. Bruce Watson, Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders and the Judgment of Mankind. James D. Watson (1928-), Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science. Diana West (1961-), The Death of the Grownup: How America's Arrested Development is Bringing Down Western Civilization. Drew Westen, The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation; Emory U. psych prof. shows how the Dem. Party can win the White House in 2008 using psychology - and he was right? Reed Whittemore (1919-2012), Against the Grain: The Literary Life of a Poet (Oct. 22); intro. by Garrison Keillor. Stuart Wilde (1946-), The Art of Redemption. Garry Wills (1934-), Head and Heart: American Christianities. Valerie Plame Wilson, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House. Lee Woodruff nd Bob Woodruff, In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing; "Look at it this way. They won't be able to call you a 'pretty-boy android' anymore". Richard Wright (1908-60), Big Boy Leaves Home (posth.). Stephen M. Younger, Endangered Species: How We Can Avoid Mass Destruction and Build a Lasting Peace; former head of nuke research at Los Alamos goes pacifist, observing that no two democracies have gone to war with each other? Crystal Zevon, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon. Philip Zimbardo (1933-), The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. Plays: Hassan Abdulrazzak, Baghdad Wedding (Soho Theatre, London); three Iraqis return to Iraq after the overthrow of Sodamn Insane. Margaret Atwood (1939-), The Penelopiad (Royal Shakespeare Co., London) (July); based on her 2005 novel. Benno Barnard (1954-), Mevrouw Appelfeld (debut). Roger Crane, The Last Confessions; the election and death of Pope John Paul I. Roddy Doyle (1958-) and Bisi Adigun, The Playboy of the Western World; rewrite of the 1907 John Millington Synge play. Jeremy Gable, Garbage Strike; A Dollar-Fifty; Re: Woyzeck; based on the George Buchner play "Woyzeck". Melissa James Gibson, Current Nobody (Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington, D.C.) (Oct. 29); set during the Trojan War. Denis Johnson (1949-), Des Moines; Everything Has Been Arranged. Dave Kirby, Lost Soul (Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool) (Aug. 31). Tracy Letts (1965-), August: Osage County (Pulitzer Prize) (Imperial Theater, New York) (June 28); the Weston family in Pawhuska, Okla.; filmed in 2013. Caleb Lewis, Dogfall (Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide) (Nov. 2). Simon McBurney, A Disappearing Number; English mathematician G.H. Hardy (1877-1947) and Indian mathematician Strinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920). Frank McGuinness (1953-), There Came a Gypsy Riding (Almeida Theatre, London). Terence McNally, Deuce (Music Box Theatre, New York) (Apr. 11); stars Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes as retired tennis stars Leona Mullen and Midge Barker, who reunite at the U.S. Open. Lin-Manuel Miranda (1980-) and Quiara Alegria Hudes (1977-), In the Heights (musical) (37 Arts Theater, New York) (Feb. 8) (Rodgers Theatre, New York) (Mar. 9) (1,184 perf.); three days in the Dominican-Am. neighborhood of Washington Heights, New York City. Brendan O'Carroll, For the Love of Mrs. Brown; Agnes Brown looks for a date for Valentine's Day over the Internet. Philip Ridley, Leaves of Glass (Soho Theatre, London) (May 3); stars Ben Whishaw. Sarah Ruhl (1974-), Eurydice (Second Stage Theater, New York) (June). Kelley Ryan, And Carl Laughed; about anti-nuclear activist Faher Carl Kabat. Aaron Sorkin, The Farnsworth Invention; TV inventor Philo Farnsworth (1906-71). Bernard Weintraub, The Accomplices (New Group, New York); about Hillel Look (AKA Peter Bergson). John Weidman (1946-), Take Flight (musical). Michael Weller (1942-), 50 Words; Side Effects, Zero. Robert Wilson (1941-), Brecht's The Threepenny Oppera for the Berliner Ensemble. Poetry: Elizabeth Alexander (1962-) and Marilyn Nelson, Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies & Little Misses of Color (Sept. 1); about Prudence Crandell and her school for African-Am. women in 1833 Canterbury, Conn. John Ash (1948-), The Parthian Stations. Margaret Atwood (1939-), The Door. Robert Bly (1926-), Turkish Pears in August: Twenty-For Ramages. Jared Carter (1939-), Cross This Bridge at a Walk. Turner Cassity (1929-2009), Devils and Islands. Andrei Codrescu (1946-) and Ruxandra Cesereanu, Sibmarinul Iertat. Michael Crummey (1965-), Went With. Thomas Michael Disch (1940-2008), About the Size of It. Edward Dorn (-1999), Way More West: New and Selected Poems (posth.). Robert L. Hass (1941-), Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005; Now and Then: The Poet's Choice Columns, 1997-2000. Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932-2007), I Wrote Stone: Selected Poetry. Bill Knott (1940-), Stigmata Errata Etcetera. Maxine Kumin (1925-), Still to Mow. John Lithgow (1945-) (ed.), The Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family. Mary Oliver (1935-), Our World; photos by Molly Malone Cook. Robert Pinsky (1940-), Gulf Music: Poems. Stanley Plumly (1939-), Old Heart. John Ross (1938-2011), Bomba. Philip Schultz (1945-), Failure. Simon Stephens (1971-), Pornography; Harper Reagan. Mark Strand (1934-), New Selected Poems. Derek Walcott (1930-), Selected Poems. Charles Wright (1935-), Littlefoot. Jay Wright (1934-), Music's Mask and Measure; The Guide Signs (2 vols.). Novels: The Year of the Pensive Woman Cover (PWC) sees the rush to service the market for historical novels created by Dan Brown and Elizabeth Kostova combined with a near-monopoly in book publishing and herd animal thinking, resulting in monotonously similar book covers rushing toward an identity crisis on bookstore shelves? Andre Aciman (1951-), Call Me By Your Name; gay summer romance in 1980s Italy between two Jewish-Ams., one 17 and one 24; filmed in 2017 by Luca Guadagnino. Jonis Agee, The River Wife; 16-y.-o. Annie Lark in the 1811 New Madrid, Mo. earthquake is rescued by French fur trapper hunk Jacques Ducharme, and the fur flies. Catherine Aird (1930-), Losing Ground. Sherman Alexie, Flight; 15-y.-o. Amerindian Zits becomes a time traveller. Martin Amis (1949-), House of Meetings; back to the gulag Norlag? Kurt Andersen, Heyday; "Benjamin Knowles wobbled into the New World"; a young English aristocrat in 1848 escapes mad Paris for New York City, hooks up with Timothy Skaggs and Polly and Duff Lucking, then go on a grand tour of the U.S., ending up in the Calif. gold rush - back when they could get along without a computer? Gwenaelle Aubry (1971-), Our Life is Used in Transfigurations (Notre vie s'use en Transfigurations); the inner monologue of an ugly woman on the aesthetic indifference of the beautiful and the ugly; The (Dis)Taste of Ugliness (Le (Dé)goût de la Llaideur) (anthology). Louis Auchincloss (1917-), The Headmaster's Dilemma; The Friend of Women and Other Stories. Paul Benjamin Auster (1947-), Travels in the Scriptorium. Richard Bachman (Stephen King), Blaze; written in 1973 and discarded, then discovered and released, reaching #3 on the NYT list. Clive Barker (1952-), Mister B. Gone. Pat Barker (1943-), Life Class; Slade School of Art student volunteers to serve in a front-line hospital in WWI. Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon; last of the Peter Pan prequel trifecta. Ishmael Beah (1980-), Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier; a 13-y.-o. soldier in Sierra Leone. Elizabeth Berg, Dream When You're Feeling Blue (May). Steve Berry (1955-), The Alexandria Link; Cotton Malone #2; Malone finds out that the Library of Alexandria didn't really vanish, and the Promised Land is not in Israel?; The Venetian Betrayal; Cotton Malone #3. Fernando Trias de Bes, The Time Seller. Maeve Binchy (1940-), Whitehorn Woods; a proposed highway cutting through the site of St. Ann's Well pisses-off the locals. Amy Bloom, Away; 3-y.-o. Sophie Leyb disappears in the Russian village of Turiv during a pogrom. Chris Bohjalian, The Double Bind; Vt. bicyclist. T. Coraghessan Boyle (1948-), The Women. Gayle Brandeis, Self Storage. James Lee Burke (1936-), Jesus Out to Sea (short stories); The Tin Roof Blowdown; New Orleans detective Dave Robicheaux during Hurricane Katrina. Stephen L. Carter (1954-), New England White; blacks Vanessa, Lemaster and Julia Carlyle encounter racial discrimination in Conn., "the heart of whiteness". Orson Scott Card (1951-), Empire; Reuben Malich vs. the Progressive Restoration? Mike Carey (1959-), The Devil You Know; "When you look like a pistachio-ice-cream sundae, it's no easy thing to hang tough." Ron Carlson, Five Skies; Darwin Gallegos et al. build a daredevil a motorcycle ramp to jump over a gorge. Michael Chabon (1963-), The Yiddish Policemen's Union (May 1); the U.S. allows Jews to settle in Sitka, Alaska in 1938 after all, and it grows into a flourishing metropolis of 3M; alcoholic dick Meyer Landsman and half-Tlingit partner-cousin Berko Shemets; Gentlemen of the Road. Jim Crace (1946-), The Pesthouse. Nicholas Christopher, The Bestiary; Xeno Atlas, son of greek sailor Theodore and an Italian mother seeks the Caravan Bestiary, describing animals lost in Noah's Flood. Cassandra Clare (1973-), The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Mar. 27); Clarissa Adele "Clary" Fray discovers the Shadowhunters, Nephilim who protect the mundies (mundanes) from dark forces; followed by "City of Ashes" (Mar. 25, 2008), "City of Glass" (Mar. 23, 2009), "City of Fallen Angels" (Apr. 5, 2001), "City of Lost Souls" (May 8, 2012), "City of Heavenly Fire" (May 27, 2014). Mary Higgins Clark (1927-), Ghost Ship: A Cape Cod Story; I Heard That Song Before. Jon Clinch, Finn; Huckleberry's brutal alcoholic father Pap, who dies in a room filled with a wooden leg, two black masks and women's underwear, among walls covered with grotesque pictures and words. Richard A. Clarke, Breakpoint; cyberattack in five years? Paul Coelho (1947-), Life: Selected Quotations. J.M. Coetzee (1940-), Diary of a Bad Year. Jackie Collins (1937-), Drop Dead Beautiful (June 24); Lucky Santangelo #6; 25th novel, and just as raunchy as the 1st, continuing the bestseller streak (400M copies sold). Michael Connelly, Overlook (May 22); LAPD detective Harry Bosch moves to the robbery/homicide div., and takes on the case of Dr. Stanley Kent. Robin Cook (1940-), Critical. Patricia Cornwell (1956-), Book of the Dead; Kay Scarpetta gets raped? Sandra Dallas, Tallgrass; the WWII Japanese Grenada Relocation Center in Amache, Colo., and its similarities with the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Marie Darrieussecq (1969-), Tom is Dead (Tom est Mort); a woman who lost her son 10 years earlier and is emotionally destroyed. James Dashner (1972-), The Maze Runner (Oct.); bestseller; filmed in 2014; followed by "The Scorch Trials" (2010), "The Death Cure" (2011), "The Kill Order" (2012), and "The Fever Code" (2016). Jennifer Davis, Our Former Lives in Art (short stories); "A lush grapefruit dances in a top hat, its gloved hand twirling a cane of celery". Angela Davis-Gardner, Plum Wine; Barbara Jefferson in a Japanese college in the 1960s. Don DeLillo (1936-), Falling Man; 9/11 survivor Keith Neudecker, who becomes a prof. poker player. Junot Diax, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Kate DiCamillo, Mercy Watson Princess in Disguise. Tony D'Souza, Whiteman; the wonderful Ivory Coast, where there is a coup-a-minute between 2000-3; narrator Jack Diaz goes there as an aid worker and tries to fit in. David Anthony Durham, Acacia, Book One: The War with the Mein; King Leodan of the Known World is assassinated by the exiled Mein race; first of a trilogy. George Alec Effinger (1947-2002), A Thousand Deaths (short stories) (posth.). Dave Eggers, What Is the What; the civil war in Sudan. Nathan Englander, The Ministry of Special Cases (first novel); the Jewish family of Kaddish and Lillian Pozman in Argentina's 1970s Dirty War. Anne Enright (1962-), The Gathering; "History is only biological. What is written for the future is written in the body." Jane Fallon, Getting Rid of Matthew. Sebastian Faulks (1953-), Engleby; a 1970s Cambridge U. student. Ken Follett (1949-), World Without End; set in the Middle Ages. Margaret Forster (1938-), Over. Jeffrey Frank, Trudy Hopedale; Washington, D.C. during Clinton's last year. Charles Frazier (1950-), Thirteen Moons; the destruction of the Cherokee Nation by Pres. Andy Jackson. Esther Freud (1963-), Love Falls. Jeff Garigliano, Dogface (first novel); 14-y.-o. Loren busts out of rotten Camp Ascendi for kids. Christina Garcia, A Handbook to Luck; Enrique, Marta, and Lelia. Lisa Gardner, Hide. Lisa Genova (1970-), Stil Alice (first novel); 50-y.-o. Harvard U. linguistics prof. Alice Howland is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's; filmed in 2014 starring Julianne Moore. William Gibson (1948-), Spook Country. Barry Gifford (1946-), Imagination of the Heart; Sailor and Lula #7; Memoirs from a Sinking Ship. Newt Gingrich (1943-) and William Forstchen, Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th. Francisco Goldman (1954-), The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop? Alan Gordon, The Lark's Lament; court jesters form an internat. secret society to gather intel? Eli Gottlieb, Now You See Him. Deborah Grabien, Cruel Sister; Ringan Laine. Robert Greer, The Mongoose Deception; the JFK assassination set in Denver? James Grippando, When Darkness Falls; Miami atty. Jack Swyteck defends the Falcon. John Grisham, Playing for Pizza; a washed-up NFL QB reinvents himself in Parma, Italy Andrew Gross, The Blue Zone; Kate Raab's father Ben joins the WITSEC (Witness Protection Program), then disappears into the you know what, location unknown. Austin Grossman, Soon I Will Be Invincible (first novel); 35th cent. superheroes New Champions Corefire (AKA Jason Garner), Fatale, Elphin and Lily battle Doctor Impossible. Diane Haeger, The Perfect Royal Mistress (PWC) (Mar.); Charles II's mistress Nell Gwynn. Pete Hamill (1935-), North River. Warren Hammond, KOP (first novel); detective Juno Mozambe in mold-infested planet Lagarto, capital city Koba; "Blade Runner" in a jungle? Matt Haig (1975-), The Dead Fathers Club; 12-y.-o. Philip Noble in England. Peter Handke (1942-), Kali: Eine Vorwintergeschichte; Samara (Die Morawische Nacht). Jim Harrison (1937-), Returning to Earth; Finnish Indian Donald in N Mich. is dying of ALS. Stephen Hawking and Lucy Hawking, George's Secret Key to the Universe (Sept.); a cosmology novel for "middle grade" readers. Carl Hiaasen (1953-), Nature Girl; bipolar Honey Santana vs. crooked telemarketer Boyd Shreave in Fla.; half-white Seminole Sammy Tigertail in Dismal Key. John Twelve Hawks, The Dark River. Charles Higham (1931-2012), The Midnight Tree: A Fairy Tale of Terror. Joe Hill (1972-), Heart-Shaped Box (first novel); by Stephen King's son, causing much hype; Jude Coyne buys a ghost-in-a-box (Craddock McDermott) over the Internet, and gets in an adventure with Goth girlfriend Georgia and two brave German shepherds. Tony Hillerman (1925-2008), The Shape Changer (June); Navajo cop Leaphorn and young partner Chee. Lawrence Hill, Someone Knows My Name; African Muslim Aminata kidnapped and sold into slavery in British colonial Am. Russell Hoban (1925-) and Barbara Strozzi, My Tango. Alice Hoffman (1952-), Skylight Confessions; 17-y.-o. Arlyn Singer and John Moody move into the Glass Slipper. Nancy Horan, Loving Frank; the scandalous love affair of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney. Janette Turner Hospital (1942-), Orpheus Lost. Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns (May 22); NYT bestseller (1M copies); Afghan child bride Mariam, illegitimate daughter of Nana, who grows up admit abuse, and privileged Laila, whom her hubby Rasheed proposes marriage to; "Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam." (Nana) Susan Isaacs (1943-), Past Perfect; ex-CIA agent Katie Schottland becomes a writer for the TV series "Spy Guys". Joshilyn Jackson, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming; Lauren Gray Hawthorne and her estranged sister Thalia in upscale gated Victorianna, Fla. Rula Jebreal (1973-), The Bride of Aswan. Ha Jin (1956-), A Free Life. Denis Johnson (1949-), Tree of Smoke; William "Skip" Sands and Col. Francis Xavier Sands in Vietnam. Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You (short stories). Christian Jungersen, The Exception; genocide researchers Iben and Malene. Millard Kaufman (1917-2009), Bowl of Cherries (first novel) (Oct. 1); by the creator of Mr. Magoo; Yale dropout Judd Breslau and Egyptologist Phillips Chatteron try to redesign human society until Judd falls for Phillips' daughter Valerie and vies for her with an Iraqi sheikh. Thomas Keneally (1935-), The Widow and Her Hero; as told by Grace, widow of Errol Flynn lookalike Leo Waterhouse, who was beheaded by the Japanese in Singapore in WWII. Douglas Kennedy (1955-), The Woman in the Fifth (July 3); Harry Ricks loses his univ. job and marriage after an affair with a student, flees to Paris, and ends up in the squalid 10th arrondissement, hooking up with a mysterious beautiful woman in the fifth; bestseller worldwide except the U.S. Elias Khoury (1948-), Ka'anaha Nae'ma (As If She Were Sleeping). Stephen King (1947-), Lisey's Story; The Gingerbread Girl (pub. in the July Esquire); Emily in Vermillion Key off the Fla. coast and her mad neighbor. Sophie Kinsella, Shopaholic & Baby; Becky Bloomwood shops for two. Aryn Kyle, The God of Animals (first novel); 12-y.-o. Alice Winston in Desert Valley, Colo., horses and lost love. Dominique Lapierre (1931-), Once Upon a Time in the Soviet Union (Il Etait Une Fois l'URSS). Stieg Larsson (1954-2004), The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest; #3 in the Millennium Trilogy. Jeffrey Lent, A Peculiar Grace; loner blacksmith Hewitt Pearce in Vt. hooks up with wandering hippie chick Jessica. Elmore Leonard (1925-2013), Up in Honey's Room. Jonathan Lethem (1964-), You Don't Love Me Yet; a struggling L.A. rock band. Cixin Liu (1963-), The Three-Body Problem; #1 in the Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy; English trans. pub. in 2014. Penelope Lively (1933-), Consequences. Kip Longfellow, The Secret Magdalene (PWC) (Mar.); Mary Magdalene takes the name John to pose as a male disciple? Lisa Lutz, The Spellman Files (first novel); the Sopranos of law enforcement? Norman Mailer (1923-2007), The Castle in the Forest; SS officer Dieter as the guiding devil for baby Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), whose mother is also his half-sister and his father is a beekeeper, and conveniently has no Jewish heritage; "On caca, is marriage based." Thomas Maltman, The Night Birds (first novel). Henning Mankell, Kennedy's Brain; the explanation for the suicide of Henrik Kantor in Stockholm leads inspector Kurt Wallander to AIDS-soaked Maputo, Mozambique, the ho Lucinda, and Christian Holloway, who runs an AIDs clinic where they do unspeakable things; "Who cares if some Africans are sacrificed if the outcome is drugs and vaccines that people in the Western world can benefit from?" (Lucinda) David Marusek, Getting to Know You (short stories). Patricia Marx, Him Her Him Again The End of Him (first novel); a neurotic young woman falls for narcissist Eugene Obello. Armistead Maupin, Michael Tolliver Lives; 56-y.-o. gay HIV-positive San Francisco landscaper Michael Tolliver is married younger man Ben, and must visit his born-again mother and spend time with his older brother Irwin, a member of Promise Keepers. Antoinette May, Pilate's Wife. Colum McCann, Zoli; a Gypsy poet walks across Europe. Charles McCarry (1930-), Christopher's Ghosts. Colleen McCullough (1937-), Antony and Cleopatra (Dec. 4); Masters of Rome #7; from the Battle of Philippi in -42 to the deification of Augustus in -27. Thomas McGuane (1939-), Gallatin Canyon (short stories). Ron McLarty, traveller; Jono Riley. Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, Dedication; Kate Hollis and her unworthy rock star beau Jake. Terry McMillan (1951-), The Black Nation's Cry. Larry McMurtry (1936-), When the Light Goes (Feb.); Duane Moore; last of the "Last Picture Show" series (begun 1966). Stephenie Meyer, Eclipse (Aug. 7). Dinaw Mengestu (1978-), The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Children of the Revolution) (first novel) (Mar.); 17-y.-o. Sepha Stephanos flees Ethiopia and the Derg regime. Arthur Miller (1915-2005), Presence (six short stories) (posth.). Kathryn Miller, The War Against Miss Winter; Rosie the struggling actress works for a P.I. who dies, and is an understudy in a play whose playwright is murdered and his masterpiece stolen. Anchee Min (1957-), The Last Empress; sequel to "The Empress Orchid". Dito Montiel (1965-), Eddit Krumble is the Clapper (Apr.). Christopher Moore (1957-), You Suck: A Love Story; sequel to "Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story". David Morrell (1943-), Scavenger; sequel to "Creepers". Sir John Mortimer (1923-2009), The Antisocial Behaviour of Horace Rumpole. Walter Mosley (1952-), Blonde Faith; 10th and last Easy Rawlins novel? Kate Mosse, Sepulchre. Barbara Mujica, Sister Theresa (PWC) (Mar.). Haruki Murakami (1949-), After Dark; never-sleeping Chinese-speaking Mari Asai, sister of ever-sleeping model Eri comes to a Tokyo Denny's at midnight, and meets musician Takahashi, who gets her a job at a love hotel; Birthday Stories (short stories). Douglas Murray (1979-), Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Reviewing Transatlantic Partnership. John Treadwell Nichols (1940-), The Empanada Brotherhood (Oct. 4). Laurie Notaro, There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell (first novel); Maye and Charlie Roberts in Spaulding, Wash., known for its Sewer Pipe Queen Pageant. Joyce Carol Oates (1938-), The Gravedigger's Daughter; Rebecca Schwart's father is a you know what in Milburn, N.Y. who shoots himself and his wife, after which she meets brutish travelling salesman Niles Tignor, changes her names to Hazel Jones, and helps her son become a concert pianist. Tawini O'Dell, Sister Mine. Michael Ondaatje (1943-), Divisadero. Chuck Palahniuk (1962-), Rant. Paul Park, The White Tyger. Robert Brown Parker (1932-2010), Edenville Owls; Now and Then; Spenser #35; High Profile; Jesse Stone #6; Spare Change; Sunny Randall #7. James Patterson (1947-), Step on a Crack; NYPD detective Michael Bennett vs. the Neat Man. Ridley Pearson, Killer Weekend; Sun Valley, Idaho sheriff Walt Fleming hunts a killer targeting N.Y. atty.-gen. Liz Shaler, a Hillary Clinton clone. Chuck Pfarrer, Killing Che. Arthur Phillips (1969-), Angelica; Constance, Joseph and Angelica Brion, and spiritualist Ann Montague. Christi Phillips, The Rossetti Letter (PWC) (Mar.); a Spanish conspiracy to overthrow the Venetian Republic. Jodi Picoult (1966-), Nineteen Minutes. Paulina Porizkova, A Model Summer (first novel). Thomas Pynchon (1937-), Against the Day; from the Chicago 1893 World's Fair to WWI; Webb Traverse and sons Kit, Frank, and Reef, and daughter Lake; Rev. Lube Carnal, Sloat Fresno, Elmore Disco, and a talking dog; "Your whole history in America has been one long religious war, secret crusades, disguised under false names"; "What North Europe thinks of as its history is actually quite provincial and of limited interest. Different sorts of Christian killing each other, and that's about it." Jonathan Raban, Surveillance; retired prof. Augie Vanags, gay Tad Zachary, Lucy and Alida in Seattle. Kris Radish, The Sunday List of Dreams; uncovering the goddess within? Tariq Ramadan, In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad; author is son of an Egyptian diplomat and grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, and is refused a visa to the U.S. 2x even though he was appointed to a prestigious chair at Notre Dame U. Ruth Rendell, The Water's Lovely; Guy Rolland drowns in a bathrub during a flu bout, leaving a dysfunctional family. Alain Robbe-Grillet (1922-2008), Un Roman Sentimental (A Sentimental Novel). Kim Stanley Robinson (1952-), Sixty Days and Counting; Frank Vanderwal of UCSD fights global warming; Science in the Capital #3. Philip Roth (1933-), Exit Ghost; Nathan Zuckerman. Patrick Rothfuss (1973-), The Name of the Wind; #1 in the Kingkiller Chronicle Trilogy (2007, 2011). Rebecca K. Rowe, Forbidden Cargo; genetically altered "Imagofas" Sashimu and Thesini on Mars in 2110. J.K. Rowling (1965-), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (July 21) (7th and last of the series); his 7th year at Hogwarts; 12M copies first printing, making 337M copies total sold worldwide; her income this year is $1B - a new religion in the making? Laura Ruby, I'm Not Julia Roberts (short stories); not everybody is wild about their stepchildren? Richard Russo (1949-), Bridge of Sighs; Louis Charles "Lucy" Lynch in Thomaston, N.Y. Marcus Sakey, The Blade Itself (first novel); Danny Carter in Chicago. Robert James Sawyer (1960-), Rollback; Sarah Halifax decodes an alien radio message, and when a 2nd one comes in she is offered a rollback to make her 60 years younger. Steven Saylor, Roma; cool historical novel of the first 1K years of Roman history. John Scalzi (1969-), The Last Colony (Apr.); Old Man's War #3. Alice Sebold, The Almost Moon; why Helen Knightly killer her cruel mother?; "When all was said and done, killing my mother came easily". Lisa See, Peony in Love; Chen Tong during the 17th cent. Qing Dynasty. Rachel Seiffert, Afterwards; house painter Joe and nurse Alice in England fall in love then learn too much about each other. Brian Selznick (1966-), The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Jan. 30); filmed in 2011 by Martin Scorsese. John Shannon, The Dark Streets; Jack Liffey and film student Soon-Lin. Anita Shreve (1946-), Body Surfing; 29-y.-o. live-in tutor Sydney Sklar, 18-y.-o. tutoree Julie and her two older hot brothers. Dan Simmons (1948-), The Terror. Scott Simon, Windy City; the sudden death of the mayor. Jane Smiley (1949-), Ten Days in the Hills; a modern Decameron set five days after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq; 350 pages of dialogue and 100 pages of descriptions of sex acts? Martin Cruz Smith (1942-), Stalin's Ghost; Arkady Renko #6; Arkady Renko tracks down Stalin ghost sightings in Moscow subways and deals with the Black Berets. Christopher Sorrentino (1963-), American Tempura; art by Derek Boshier (1937-). Nicholas Sparks (1965-), The Choice (Sept.). Danielle Steel (1947-), Sisters; Bungalow 2; Amazing Grace. Mark Stevens, Antler Dust (first novel); Colo. hunter's guide Allison Coil. Charles Stross (1964-), Halting State; about crime in the early 21st cent.; Missile Gap; the surface of 1962 Earth is peeled off and placed on a flat surface, allowing the Soviet Union to conquer W Europe. Duane Swierczynski (1972-), The Blonde. Graham Swift (1949-), Tomorrow; a 49-y.-o. mother in Putney, London on Fri. night, June 16, 1995 rehearses her thought about revealing a family secret. Anthony Swofford, Exit A (first novel); Severin Boxx loves Virginia, daughter of Gen. Kindwall on a U.S. air base in Japan. Peter Temple, The Broken Shore; Melbourne detective Joe Cashin. Brad Thor (1969-), The First Commandment. Colm Toibin (1955-), Mothers and Sons (short stories). J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), The Children of Hurin (posth.) (Apr. 17); ed. by his son Christopher Tolkien; the First Age of Middle Earth, 6.5K years before the Lord of the Rings, when Hurin, and his children Turin Turambar and Nienor Niniel of the House of Hador fight Dark Lord Morgoth, boss of Sauron in Beleriand. Nigel Tomm, The Blah Story (Oct. 22); 11.3M-word novel. Peter Tremayne (Peter Berresford Ellis), Master of Souls; Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf at 7th cent. Ard Fhearta conhospitae abbey. Gail Tsukiyama, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms. Brenda Rickman Vantrease, The Mercy Seller (PWC) (Mar.); book illuminators in 15th cent. Prague dabble with forbidden Bible translations? Carrie Vaughn (1973-), Kitty Takes a Holiday; Kitty Norville #3. Susan Vreeland, Luncheon of the Boating Party; Renoir's 1881 painting comes to life, right down to the "touch of cobalt with white for the lit side of the bottles and the grapes". Daniel Wallace, Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician; seven narrators tell about Henry Walker the inept Negro Magician, who is really white. Alison Weir (1951-), Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey (PWC) (Mar.) (first novel). Fay Weldon (1931-), The Spa Decameron. Irvine Welsh (1958-), If You Liked School, You'll Love Work (short stories). Edmund White (1940-), Hotel de Dream. Stephen White (1951-), Dry Ice; 15th Dr. Alan Gregory novel, about his MS-suffering depressed wife Lauren Crowder. Robert Charles Wilson (1953-), Axis. Lawrence Wright, God's Favorite; Manuel Noriega flees U.S. troops all to the way to the Vatican Embassy. William Paul Young (1955-), The Shack (July 1); NYT bestselling (18M copies) Christian novel about Mackenzie Allen Phillips, whose youngest daughter Missy is abducted and found in an abandoned shack in Ore., after which he receives a letter from God inviting him to spend a weekend there; its attempt to humanize God and Christianity makes it more popular? Births: English 160-IQ child Oscar Wrigley on ? in Reading, Berkshire; youngest Mensa member at age 2. Deaths: Am. philanthropist Brooke Astor (b. 1902) on Aug. 13 in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. British firefighter Cyril Demarne (b. 1905) on Jan. 28. Am. jazz bandleader Peggy Gilbert (b. 1905) on Feb. 12 in Burbank, Calif. Am. "mean old man in I Love Lucy" actor Charles Lane (b. 1905) on July 9 in Santa Monica, Calif. Am. druggist Charles R. Walgreen Jr. (b. 1906) on Feb. 10 in Northfield, Ill. Scottish scientist Alexander King (b. 1909) on Feb. 28. Chinese Communist leader Bo Yibo (b. 1908) on Jan. 15 in Beijing; dies as the oldest member of the Communist Party of China. Japanese Ramen inventor Momofuku Ando (b. 1910) on Jan. 5 in Ikeda, Osaka (heart attack). Am. "To Tell the Truth" actress-singer Kitty Carlisle (b. 1910) on Apr. 17 in New York City. French writer Julien Gracq (b. 1910) on Dec. 22 in Angers. French Paris police chief Maurice Papon (b . 1910) on Feb. 17 in Pontault-Combault, Seine-et-Marne; convicted of deporting 1.6K Jews to concentration camps during WWII. Am. mountaineer Bradford Washburn (b. 1910) on Jan. 10 in Lexington, Mass. (heart failure). Italian-Am. "The Saint of Bleecker Street" composer Gian Carlo Menotti (b. 1911) on Feb. 1 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Mexican-born Am. physicist Albert Baez (b. 1912) on Mar. 20 in Redwood City, Calif. U.S. First Lady "Lady Bird" Johnson (b. 1912) on July 11 in West Lake Hills, Tex. Am. electrical engineer Chauncey Starr (b. 1912) on Apr. 17 in Atherton, Calif. German nuclear physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker (b. 1912) on Apr. 28 in Socking (near Starnberg); last surviving member of the loser wacky Nazi A-bomb team. Am. inventor Robert Adler (d. 1913) on Feb. 15 in Boise, Idaho; co-inventor with Eugene Polley of the TV remote. Am. psychologist Albert Ellis (b. 1913) on July 24 in New York City. Am. "Rawhide", "Jezebel" crooner Frankie Laine (b. 1913) on Feb. 6 in San Diego, Calif. (heart failure); sold 100M records and earned 20 golds. Am. writer Tillie Olsen (b. 1913) on Jan. 1 in Oakland, Calif. Italian "Doctor Zhivago" film producer Carlo Ponti (b. 1913) on Jan. 10 in Geneva; produced 151 movies w/34 having roles for wife Sophia Loren. Soviet KGB agent Alexander Feklisov (b. 1914) on Oct. 26. Am. New Testament scholar Bruce Metzger (b. 1914) on Feb. 13 in Princeton, N.J. Am. bridge champ Al Roth (b. 1914) on Apr. 18 in Boca Raton, Fla. Am. Avis Rent A Car founder Warren Avis (b. 1915) on Apr. 24 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Am. Commonwealth Edison CEO (1973-80) Thomas G. Ayers (b. 1915) on June 8 in Chicago, Ill. British historian Norman Cohn (b. 1915) on July 31 in Cambridge. Am. Rice-A-Roni inventor Vince DeDomenico (b. 1915) on Oct. 18 in Napa, Calif. Am. "Silver Bells" songwriter Ray Evans (b. 1915) on Feb. 15 in Los Angeles, Calif.; dies on the 42nd anniv. of the death of Nat King Cole (1919-65), who made his song "Mona Lisa" famous. Am. choreographer Michael Kidd (b. 1915) on Dec. 23 in Los Angeles, Calif. (cancer). Am. Holocaust advocate Abraham Klausner (b. 1915) on June 28 in Santa Fe, N.M. Am. socialite Elaine Lorillard (b. 1914) on Nov. 26 in Newport, R.I. (MRSA). Am. ML (NL) (1956-75) baseball umpire Shag Crawford (b. 1916) on July 11 in Glen Mills, Penn. Am. novelist-critic Elizabeth Hardwick (b. 1916) on Dec. 2 in Manhattan, N.Y. French PM (1972-4) Pierre Messmer (b. 1916) on Aug. 29 in Paris. British-born Am. "Mr. Whipple" actor Dick Wilson (b. 1916) on Nov. 18 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, Calif. Am. composer-conductor George Greeley (b. 1917) on May 26 in Los Angeles, Calif. (emphysema). Am. "Rev. Robert Alden in Little House on the Prairie" actor Dabbs Greer (b. 1917) on Apr. 28 in Pasadena, Calif. Am. climate scientist William Welch Kellogg (b. 1917) on Dec. 12. Am. activist Irene Morgan (b. 1917) on Aug. 10 in Gloucester County, Va. Am. WWII pilot Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal (b. 1917) on Apr. 20 in Rye, N.Y. (cancer). Am. historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (b. 1917) on Feb. 28 in Manhattan, N.Y. Am. dir. Melville Shavelson (b. 1917) on Aug. 8 in Studio City, Calif. Am. "Rage of Angels", "Master of the Game" novelist Sidney Sheldon (b. 1917) on Jan. 30 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (pneumonia). Am. actress Jane Wyman (b. 1917) on Sept. 10 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.; buried in a nun's habit since she was a member of the Dominican Order of the Roman Catholic Church. Swedish film dir. Ingmar Bergman (b. 1918) on July 29 in Faro Island, Sweden; "Probably the greatest film artist... since the invention of the motion picture camera" (Woody Allen). Am. comedian Joey Bishop (b. 1918) on Oct. 17 in Newport Beach, Calif.; last surviving member of the Rat Pack. Am. writer Alfred DuPont Chandler Jr. (b. 1918) on May 9 in Mass. German chemist Ernst Otto Fischer (b. 1918) on July 23 in Munich; 1973 Nobel Chem. Prize. Am. Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt (b. 1918) on Jan. 23 in Miami, Fla. (pneumonia); dies bitter that he did time and Tricky Dicky Nixon didn't; dies after giving his son Saint John Hunt a Deathbed Confession, which is pub. in the Apr. 5, 2007 issue of Rolling Stone, claiming that LBJ ordered a CIA-led hit team to do JFK, incl. Cord Meyer, William Harvey, Antonio Veciana, Frank Sturgis, David Morales, and Lucien Sarti; the Los Angeles Times calls it "inconclusive": "I will always be called a Watergate burglar, even though I was never in the damn place." Am. biochemist Arthur Kornberg (b. 1918) on Oct. 26 in Stanford, Calif.; 1959 Nobel Med. Prize. Indian philosopher U.G. Krishnamurti (b. 1918) on Mar. 22 in Vallecrosia, Italy. Am. "A Wrinkle in Time" novelist Madeleine L'Engle (b. 1918) on Sept. 8 in Litchfield, Conn. Kiwi-born Am. "Casino Royale" actor Barry Nelson (b. 1918) on Apr. 7 in Bucks County, Penn. Canadian psychiatrist Ian Stevenson (b. 1918) on Feb. 8 in Charlottesville, Va. (pneumonia). Austrian diplomat-politician Kurt Walheim (b. 1918) on June 14 in Vienna. French politician Andre Bettencourt (b. 1919) on Nov. 19 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Am. TV evangelist Rex Humbard (b. 1919) on Sept. 21 in Atlantis, Fla. Am. poet William Meredith Jr. (b. 1919) on May 30 in New London, Conn. Japanese PM #78 (1991-3) Kiichi Miyazawa (b. 1919) on June 28 in Tokyo. Am. Grambling State U. football coach (1941-97) Eddie Robinson (b. 1919) on Apr. 3 in Ruston, La. Am. writer Peter Tompkins (b. 1919) on Jan. 23. Am. "Mod Squad" actor Tige Andrews (b. 1920) on Jan. 27 in Encino, Calif. Am. Jesuit activist Rev. Robert Drinan (b. 1920) on Jan. 28 in Washington, D.C. (heart failure). Am. billionaire celeb Leona Helmsley (b. 1920) on Aug. 20; leaves billions to children, but cuts off two grandchildren in her will, while leaving $20M to her Maltese lapdog Trouble: "Only the little people pay taxes." Am. melatonin discoverer Aaron Bunsen Lerner (b. 1920) on Feb. 3. Am. "Marty" dir. Delbert Mann (b. 1920) on Nov. 11 in Los Angeles, Calif. (pneumonia). English Matchbox Toys designer Jack Odell (b. 1920) on July 7 in London; "In my obituary I want it said I was a damn good engineer". Dutch-born Am. coffee entrepreneur Alfred H. Peet (b. 1920) on Aug. 29 in Ashland, ORe. Canadian women's rights activist Doris Anderson (b. 1921) on Mar. 2 in Toronto, Ont. Australian electrical engineer Ronald Newbold Bracewell (b. 1921) on Aug. 12 in Stanford, Calif. Am. actor Calvert DeForest (b. 1921) on Mar. 19 in West Islip, N.Y. English-born Canadian ballet dir. Celia Franca (b. 1921) on Feb. 19 in Ottawa, Ont. Am. actress Betty Hutton (b. 1921) on Mar. 11 in Palm Springs, Calif. (colon cancer). Scottish actress Deborah Kerr (b. 1921) on Oct. 16 in Botesdale, Suffolk, England. Am. "The Prince and the Pauper" actor Bob Mauch (b. 1921) on Oct. 15 in Santa Rosa, Calif. Am. actor Tom Poston (b. 1921) on Apr. 30 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. Motion Picture of Am. founder Jack Valenti (b. 1921) on Apr. 26 in Washington, D.C.; buried in Arlington Nat. Cemetery. Russian ballerina Nina Vyroubova (b. 1921) on June 25 in Paris. Am. impresario Enrico Banducci (b. 1922) on Oct. 9 in South San Francisco, Calif. Am. baseball player Hank Bauer (b. 1922) on Feb. 9 in Kansas City, Mo. (lung cancer). English WWII Resistance hero Anthony M. Brooks (b. 1922) on Apr. 19 in London (somtach cancer). Am. "Saunders in Soap" actor Roscoe Lee Browne (b. 1922) on Apr. 11 in Los Angeles, Calif. (cancer). Canadian "Lily Munster" actress Yvonne De Carlo (b. 1922) on Jan. 8 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. "Bang the Drum Slowly" novelist Mark Harris (b. 1922) on May 30. Russian-born Am. abstract artist Jules Olitski (b. 1922) on Feb. 4 (cancer). Am. writer-activist Grace Paley (b. 1922) on Aug. 22 in Thetford Hill, Vt. (breast cancer). German-born Am. libertarian economist Hans F. Sennholz (b. 1922) on June 23 in Grove City, Penn. Am. "Slaughterhouse-Five" novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (b. 1922) on Apr. 11 in New York City: "Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand." Am. photographer Ernest Columbus Withers Sr. (b. 1922) on Oct. 15 in Memphis, Tenn. (stroke). Iraqi feminist leader Naziha al-Dulaimi (b. 1923) on Oct. 9 in Herdecke. British-born Am. biologist Edward A. Boyse (b. 1923) on July 14 in Tucson, Ariz. (pneumonia). Am. "Cousin Alice in Mayberry: R.F.D." actress Alice Ghostley (b. 1923) on Sept. 21 in Studio City, Calif. Am. family psychotherapist Jay Haley (b. 1923) on Feb. 13 in San Diego, Calif. Am. CIA agent Ray Lehman (b. 1923) on Feb. 17 in Concord, N.H.; originator of the PICL (1961). Am. "The Naked and the Dead" literary lion Norman Mailer (b. 1923) on Nov. 10 in New York City (renal failure). Angolan rev. leader Holden Roberto (b. 1923) on Aug. 2 in Luanda. Am. astronaut Wally Schirra Jr. (b. 1923) on May 3 in La Jolla, Calif. (heart attack); only one to fly on Mercury, Gemini (6 and 7) and Apollo (8) craft; never walks on Moon; of the Mercury Seven only John Glenn and Scott Carpenter remain. Am. Repub. politician Henry Hyde (b. 1924) on Nov. 29 in Chicago, Ill. Am. jazz drummer Max Roach (b. 1924) on Aug. 16 in Manhattan, N.Y. Canadian-born Am. actress Brett Somers (b. 1924) on Sept. 15 in Westport, Conn. Swedish meteorologist Bert Bolin (b. 1925) on Dec. 30 in Daneryd (near Stockholm). Am. columnist Art Buchwald (b. 1925) on Jan. 17 in Washington, D.C. (kidney failure after rejecting medical treatment for a year); leaves a video on the Web saying "Hi, I'm Art Buchwald and I just died." Am. adm. William J. Crowe (b. 1925) on Oct. 18. Am. softball pitcher "Fast" Eddie Feigner (b. 1925) on Feb. 9. Am. "Jeopardy!" singer-TV host and producer Merv Griffin (d. 1925) on Aug. 12 in Los Angeles, Calif. (prostate cancer): "I'd rather play Jeopardy! than be in one"; "I will not be right back after this message" (tombstone). Am. anthropologist F. Clark Howell (b. 1925) on Mar. 10 in Berkeley, Calif. (lung cancer). Am. aeronautical engineer Paul B. MacCready (b. 1925) on Aug. 28 (brain cancer). Canadian jazz pianist-composer Oscar Peterson (b. 1925) on Dec. 23 in Mississauga, Ont. (renal failure). Am. "Drifters: singer Bill Pinkney (b. 1925) on July 4 in Daytona Beach, Calif. Dutch writer-artist Jan Wolkers (b. 1925) on Oct. 19 in Texel. Am. drag racer Art Arfons (b. 1926) on Dec. 3 in Springfield Township, Ohio. Austrian-born Am. historian Raul Hilberg (b. 1926) in Williston, Vt. (lung cancer). Am. "intelligent and nice Tarzan" actor Gordon Scott (b. 1926) on Apr. 30 in Baltimore, Md. (heart failure). Am. actor Robert Symonds (b. 1926) on Aug. 23 in Los Angeles, Calif. (prostate cancer). French soprano Regine Crespin (b. 1927) on July 5. Am. ruby laser physicist Theodore Maiman (b. 1927) on May 5 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Kiwi chemist Alan Graham MacDiarmid (b. 1927) on Feb. 7 in Drexel Hill, Penn. (fall down stairs); 2000 Nobel Chem. Prize. English chemist Leslie Orgel (b. 1927) on Oct. 27 in San Diego, Calif. (pancreatic cancer): "Evolution is smarter than you are." Am. "Renard in Magnum, P.I." actor Andre Philippe (b. 1927) on Apr. 29 in Venice, Calif. (heart failure). Am. "Yakety Sax" musician Boots Randolph (b. 1927) on July 3 in Nashville, Tenn. Russian-born Am. cellist-conductor Mstislav Rostropovich (b. 1927) on Apr. 27 in Moscow (cancer). Am. country singer Porter Wagoner (b. 1927) on Oct. 28 in Nashville, Tenn. Liberian diplomat Angie Elizabeth Brooks (b. 1928) on Sept. 9 in Houston, Tex. English bodybuilder-actor Reg Park (b. 1928) on Nov. 22 in Johannesburg, South Africa (skin cancer). German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen (b. 1928) on Dec. 5 in Kurten. French mercenary soldier Bob Denard (b. 1929) on Oct. in Paris. Am. Sen. (D-Mo.) (1968-87) Thomas Eagleton (b. 1929) on Mar. 4 in St. Louis, Mo. Am. "Rosemary's Baby" playwright-novelist Ira Levin (b. 1929) on Nov. 12 in Manhattan, N.Y. Am. "Tonight Show" "Vapor Lock" "Mr. Excitement" saxophonist Tommy Newsom (b. 1929) on Apr. 28 in Portsmouth, Va. (liver cancer). Am. soprano Beverly "Bubbles" Sills (b. 1929) on July 2 (lung cancer) (she was a non-smoker); leaves two disabled kids and a hubby who died of Alzheimer's Disease. Am. lyricist Dick Vosburgh (b. 1929) on Apr. 18 in London, England. Cuban rev. leader Vilma Espin Guillois (b. 1930) on June 18; wife of acting pres. Raul Castro. Am. singer Don Ho (b. 1930) on Apr. 14 in Waikiki, Hawaii (heart failure). Am. Coral Ridge Ministries minister D. James Kennedy (b. 1930) on Sept. 5 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (heart attack). Am. Miller-Urey Experiment scientist Stanley Lloyd Miller (b. 1930) on May 20 in National City, Calif. - D. James Kennedy went to heaven, I went back to organic compounds? Am. "Music! Music! Music" pop singer Teresa Brewer (b. 1931) on Oct. 17 in New Rochelle, N.Y. (neuromuscular disease). Am. "Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business..." actor Charles Nelson Reilly (b. 1931) on May 25 in Los Angeles, Calif. (pneumonia). Am. philosopher Richard Rorty (b. 1931) on June 8 in Palo Alto, Calif. (pancreatic cancer). Am. folk singer Eric Von Schmidt (b. 1931) on Feb. 2 in Fairfield, Conn. Am. singer Ike Turner (b. 1931) on Dec. 12 in San Marcos, Calif. (cocaine OD); Tina Turner doesn't attend his funeral. Am. football coach Bill Walsh (b. 1931) on July 30 in Woodside, Calif. Russian pres. #1 (1991-9) Boris Yeltsin (b. 1931) on Apr. 23 in Moscow (heart failure). Am. novelist Paul Emil Erdman (b. 1932) on Apr. 23 in Healdsburg, Calif. (cancer). French physicist Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (b. 1932) on May 18 in Orsay; 1991 Nobel Physics Prize. Polish writer Ryszard Kapuscinski (b. 1932) on Jan. 23 in Warsaw. Am. country singer Del Reeves (b. 1932) on Jan. 1 (emphysema). Am. novelist Robert Anton Wilson (b. 1932) on Jan. 11; last words: "Keep the lasagna flying"?: "My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything"; "Animals outline their territories with their excretions, humans outline theirs by ink excretions on paper"; "Whatever the Thinker thinks, the Prover will prove"; "It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea"; "I used to be an atheist until I realized that I had nothing to shout during blowjobs"; "I don't believe anything, but I have many suspicions"; "Horror is the natural reaction to the last 5,000 years of history"; "Beyond a certain point, the whole Universe becomes a continuous process of initiation"; "Conspiracy is just another name for coalition"; "Conspiracy is a natural primate behavior"; "I don't know what anything 'is', I only know how it seems to me at this moment"; "The worst that can happen under a monarchy is rule by a single imbecile, but democracy often means the rule by an assembly of three or four hundred imbeciles"; "Belief in external obscenity is the modern form of the witchcraft delusion"; "Consciousness itself is an infinite regress; this explains coincidences". Am. Moral Majority leader Rev. Jerry Falwell (b. 1933) on May 15 (heart attack); Newt Gingrich addresses Liberty U.'s graduating class on May 19, telling them to confront the "growing culture of radical secularism" to honor his spirit: "God is bigger than the abortionists and the homosexual lobbyists" - how much bigger? Afghanistani last shah (1933-73) Mohammed Zahir Shah (b. 1933) on July 23 in Kabul. Chinese Olympic athlete C.K. Yang (b. 1933) on Jan. 27 in Los Angeles, Calif. (liver cancer). Am. mathematician Paul Joseph Cohen (b. 1934) on Mar. 23 in Stanford, Calif. Am. actress Darlene Conley (b. 1934) on Jan. 14 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. journalist David Halberstam (b. 1934) on Apr. 23 (10:30 a.m.) in Menlo Park, Calif. (car crash en route to interview QB Y.A. Tittle); pub. 21 books. English polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert (b. 1934) on June 12. Am. singer-actress Barbara McNair (b. 1934) on Feb. 4 (cancer). Scottish "House of Cards" actor Ian Richardson (b. 1934) on Feb. 9 in London (heart attack). Am. basketball player Woody Sauldsberry (b. 1934) on Sept. 3 in Baltimore, Md.; dies in poverty suffering from advanced diabetes that resulted in the amputation of a foot. Austrian physicist Julius Erich Wess (b. 1934) on Aug. 8 in Hamburg (stroke). Am. actor Ronnie Burns (b. 1935) on Nov. 14 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. (cancer). Am. "Carl Levitt on Barney Miller" actor Ron Carey (b. 1935) on Jan. 16 in Los Angeles, Calif. (stroke). Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti (b. 1935) on Sept. 6 (pancreatic cancer). Am. TV host Tom Snyder (b. 1936) on July 29 in San Francisco, Calif. Am. physicist Sidney Richard Coleman (b. 1937) on Nov. 18. Am. jazz musician Alice Coltrane (b. 1937) on Jan. 12 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. R&B singer Luther Ingram (b. 1937) on Mar. 19 in Belleville, Ill. Am. TV host Jack Linkletter (b. 1937) on Dec. 18 in Cloverdale, Calif. Am. motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel (Robert Craig Jr.) (b. 1938) on Nov. 30 in Clearwater, Fla.; 40 broken bones. Am. white supremacist leader Davie Lane (b. 1938) on May 28 in Terre Haute, Ind. (epileptic seizure); dies in federal prison. English mathematician Howell Peregrine (b. 1938) on Mar. 20 in Bristol (cancer). Am. The Platters singer Zola Taylor (b. 1938) on Apr. 30 in Los Angeles, Calif. (pneumonia). Am. counterculture leader Walter Bowart (b. 1939) on Dec. 18 in Inchellum, Wash. Am. Olympic long jumper Willye White (b. 1939) on Feb. 6. Am. romance novelist Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (b. 1939) on July 6 in Princeton, Minn. (cancer). Am. "Mamas and Papas" singer Denny Doherty (b. 1940) on Jan. 19 in Mississauga, Ont., Canada; only Michelle Phillips (1944-) remains. French computer science (inventor of Ada) Jean Ichbiah (b. 1940) on Jan. 26 (brain tumor). Turkish foreign affairs minister (1997-2002) Ismail Cem Ipekci (b. 1940) on Jan. 24 in Istanbul. Am. artist Elizabeth Murray (b. 1940) on Aug. 12 (lung cancer). Am. folk singer Mark Spoelstra (b. 1940) on Feb. 25 in Pioneer, Calif. (pancreatic cancer). English writer-actor-dir. Sheridan Morley (b. 1941) on Feb. 16 in London. Am. auto racer Benny Parsons (b. 1941) on Jan. 16. Am. televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker/Messner (b. 1942) on July 20 in Loch Lloyd, Mo. (lung cancer); never talks to Jessica Hahn. Irish psychiatrist Anthony Clare (b. 1942) on Oct. 28 in Paris, France. English beer-whiskey critic Michael Jackson (b. 1942) on Aug. 30 in London (Parkinson's). Am. jazz singer Jon Lucien (b. 1942) on Aug. 18 in Orlando, Fla. Am. health care advocate and U.S. Rep. (R-Ga.) Charles Norwood Jr. (b. 1942) on Feb. 13 in Augusta, Ga. (cancer); first Repub. to represent E Ga. since shortly after the Civil War. Am. "Beau Brummels" drummer John Petersen (b. 1942) on Nov. 11. Am. "Beverly Hills Diet" author Judy Mazel (b. 1943) on Oct. 12 in Santa Monica, Calif. (PVD). Am. conservative activist Paul M. Wyrich (b. 1942) on Dec. 18 in Fairfax, Va.: "The real enemy is the secular humanist mindset which seeks to destroy everything that is good in this society"; "If we want to stop or at least reduce outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries, we should tax outsourcing." German-born Am. chef Chef Tell Erhardt (b. 1943) on Oct. 29 in Upper Black Eddy, Penn. Am. "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" writer Richard Leigh (b. 1943) on Nov. 21 in London, England. Am. "Good Morning America" ABC-TV film critic Joel Siegel (b. 1943) on June 29 in New York City. Am. "Shrub" author-columnist Molly Ivins (b. 1944) on Jan. 31 in Austin, Tex. (breast cancer). Am. adventurer Steve Fossett (b. 1944) on Sept. 3 near Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (airplane crash). Dubai emir and UAR PM Sheik Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum (b. 1944) on Jan. 4 in Australia. Croatian political leader Ivica Racan (b. 1944) on Apr. 29 in Zagreb. Am. basketball player Jimmy Walker (b. 1944) on July 2 in Kansas City, Mo. (lung cancer). German painter Joerg Immendorff (b. 1945) on May 28 in Duesseldorf (cardiac arrest). Am. Ramones mgr. and real estate broker ("Realtor to the Stars") Linda S. Stein (b. 1945?) on Oct. 30 in Manhattan, N.Y.; killed by her asst. Natavia Lowery with a yoga stick for "yelling at her". Am. mineralogist Richard Kosnar (b. 1946) on Jan. 15 (diabetes). South African "Shaka Zulu" actor Henry Cele (b. 1949) on Nov. 2 in Durban; dies an angry violent man chained to a hospital bed. Am. "Kudzu" cartoonist Doug Marlette (b. 1949) on July 10 in Miss. (auto accident); 1988 Pulitzer Prize. Am. actress-producer Marcheline Bertrand (b. 1950) on Jan. 27 in Los Angeles, Calif. (ovarian cancer). Am. "Boston" lead singer Brad Delp (b. 1951) on Mar. 9 in Atkinson, N.H. (suicide). Am. football player Darryl Stinley (b. 1951) on Apr. 5 in Chicago, Ill. (heart disease and pneumonia from quadriplegia). Iraqi intel chief Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti (b. 1951) on Jan. 15 in Baghdad (hanged). Pakistani PM #12, #16 (1988-90, 1993-6) Benazir Bhutto (b. 1953) on Dec. 27 in Rawalpindi, Punjab (assassinated). Am. singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg (b. 1951) on Dec. 16 in Maine (prostate cancer). Scottish artist Steven Campball (b. 1953) on ? in Glasgow (ruptured appendix). Am. serial killer Carl Eugene "Coral" Watts (b. 1953) on Sept. 21 in Jackson, Mich. (prostate cancer); dies in prison while serving two life sentences for murder. Am. basketball player Dennis Johnson (b. 1954) on Feb. 22 in Austin, Tex. Am. Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow (b. 1955) on Nov. 25 in Las Vegas, Nev. (cocaine OD). Am. author-actress-activist Yolanda King (b. 1955) on May 15 in Santa Monica, Calif. (heart failure). English fashion guru Isabella Blow (b. 1958) on May 7 in Gloucestershire (suicide by Paraquat). German celeb Count Gottfried von Bismarck (b. 1962) on July 2 in London (OD); found in his $10M Chelsea, London apt.; known for being associated with the death of the daughter of a Conservative govt. minister in 1986 and the accidental fall to his death from a roof during one of his wild parties in Aug. 2006 of Anthony Casey (b. 1968). Dutch actor Roef Ragas (b. 1965) on Aug. 3 in Amsterdam. Canadian prof. wrestler Chris Benoit (b. 1967) on June 24 in Fayetteville, Ga. (hangs himself two days after murdering his wife and son). Am. celeb Anna Nicole Smith (b. 1967) on Feb. 8 in Hollywood, Fla. at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (sudden death); Marilyn went at 36, Jayne at 34, Anna at 39. Am. rapper Pimp C (b. 1973) on Dec. 5 in Los Angeles, Calif. (natural causes?). Am. R&B singer Tony Thompson (b. 1975) on June 1 in Waco, Tex. (OD). Am.-born Kiwi meteorologist Augue Auer Jr. (b. 1940) on June 10 (67th birthday) in Melbourne. Am. security guard Richard Jewell (b. 1962) on Aug. 29 in Woodbury, Ga. (heart failure from diabetes). Mexican-born Am. porno actress Haley Paige (b. 1981) on Aug. 21 in King City, Calif. (OD). Am. football player Darrent Williams (b. 1982) on Jan. 1 in Denver, Colo. (murdered). Am. football player Sean Taylor (b. 1983) on Nov. 27 in Miami, Fla. (shot by home intruders). Am. Va. Tech mass murderer Cho Seung-Hui (b. 1984) on Apr. 16 in Blackburg, Va. (suicide).

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