By THOMAS HARGROVE
Scripps Howard News Service
January 26, 2007
President Bush gave his State of the Union address Tuesday before the new Democratic majority in Congress, imploring support for his surge of new troops into Iraq. "We went into this largely united, in our assumptions and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure," Bush said. "Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq and I ask you to give it a chance." Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, in the Democratic televised response, said that "the majority of the nation no longer supports the way the war is being fought, nor does the majority of our military."
Democrats push anti-war statement
Congressional Democrats on Wednesday began work on a formal repudiation of President Bush's Iraq policy, saying deployment of more troops is "not in the national interest." The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-9 for the nonbinding resolution that faces a floor vote next week. "We better be damn sure we know what we're doing, all of us, before we put 22,000 more Americans into that grinder," said Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, the only Republican to vote for the measure. Bush was unmoved. "I'm the decision-maker," he said Friday.
CIA-leak trial begins
The White House was willing to sacrifice former Vice Presidential Chief of Staff "Scooter" Libby in the investigation of the illegal leaking of CIA agent Valery Plame's identity because officials wanted to protect Republican political strategist Karl Rove, defense attorneys argued at the beginning of Libby's trial Tuesday. The case continued to disclose bombshells throughout the week. Prosecutors on Thursday said they have promised immunity to former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, who is expected to testify next week.
Uranium sting operation disclosed
In a disturbing case of uranium smuggling kept secret for months, U.S. and Republic of Georgia officials confirmed this week that a Russian man tried to sell nuclear-bomb-grade uranium last summer. Georgian agents, with help from the FBI and U.S. Energy Department, set up a sting after learning uranium was available from smuggling groups in the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The Russian was arrested after producing a small amount of bomb-grade material from a plastic bag in his coat. He later was sentenced to at least eight years in prison.
Jimmy Carter attacked for criticism of Israel
Former President Jimmy Carter defended his book - "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" - before a packed house Tuesday at historically Jewish Brandeis University. He received two standing ovations. "I chose that title knowing that it would be provocative," Carter said. "Israel will never find peace until it is willing to withdraw from the territories and permit the Palestinians to exercise their basic human rights." Several Jewish scholars disavowed the book after Carter said Israeli policies are leading to "an immoral outcome" in the Middle East.
Watergate architect E. Howard Hunt dies
He organized both the successful CIA coup in Guatemala and the botched Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. But history will remember E. Howard Hunt almost exclusively as the architect of the 1972 break-in at Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate complex. Hunt died Tuesday at the age of 88. He spent 33 months in prison because of the Watergate scandal that toppled Richard Nixon's presidency. Hunt sometimes bristled when he was called one of the Watergate burglars. He said he preferred the term "Watergate conspirator."
New charges against Duke lacrosse prosecutor
The North Carolina State Bar Association added ethics charges Wednesday in its complaint against Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong for his conduct in the sexual assault case against three Duke lacrosse players. Nifong is accused of failing to disclose to defense attorneys that private lab tests showed an exotic dancer, who said the three Duke students attacked her, had sexual relations with "several men" - none of whom were the defendants.
Former deputy charged in 1964 civil-rights killings
Former Mississippi deputy sheriff James Ford Seale, 77, was arrested Wednesday on charges of the infamous 1964 killings of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, two black teenagers beaten and dumped alive into the Mississippi River. Seale was reputedly a member of the Ku Klux Klan at the time of the killings. The arrest was the latest in a series of prosecutions by authorities seeking closure on long-standing Southern cases of anti-civil-rights violence.
Americans killed after helicopter crash in Baghdad
Five American security contractors died Tuesday as their helicopter crashed in central Baghdad, but Iraqi authorities said four were actually killed after the crash in a dangerous Sunni neighborhood. Four of the employees of North Carolina-based Blackwater USA were shot in the back of the head execution style. "We had a very bad day," U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said. Khalilzad personally knew all of the men. Al-Jazeera television reported that the insurgent group called "1920 Revolution Brigades" claimed to have shot down the helicopter.
Sex scandal builds against Israeli president
Israeli Attorney General Meni
Mazuz announced Tuesday there is sufficient evidence to indict
President Moshe Katsav on charges of rape and abuse of power,
the most serious criminal accusations ever made against a top
Israeli leader. Katsav temporarily relinquished his presidential
powers Thursday, but vowed not to quit. The scandal broke last
summer when a women in his office said the president forced her
to have sex with him. Several other women came forward with similar
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