By THOMAS HARGROVE
Scripps Howard News Service
March 04, 2007
Army Secretary Francis Harvey stepped down Friday amid widening complaints about squalid conditions for outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a primary facility for treating troops injured in the Iraq war. President Bush ordered a comprehensive investigation into conditions first reported by The Washington Post. The Army on Thursday announced that Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, hospital commander, was fired for failing "to address needed solutions for soldier outpatient care." Bush said he wants to know if "similar problems have occurred at other military and veteran hospitals."
Violent storms kill 26 in South and Midwest
A huge storm front stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico spawned tornadoes and violent winds Thursday that killed at least 26 people in Southeast and Midwestern states. A tornado struck Enterprise High School in southern Alabama, killing eight students when the walls and roof were blown off a wing of the school. Enterprise Mayor Ken Boswell said parts of his town look like a war zone. At least six people died and several homes were destroyed in Newton, Ga. Police said storms killed a young girl in Missouri. Heavy snows closed roads in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota.
Bus plunges off Georgia highway
Four Bluffton University students, the driver and his wife died Friday morning when their chartered bus fell from an overpass onto Interstate 75 in Atlanta, in an accident that injured 29 others. The bus was carrying the baseball team of the Mennonite-affiliated college to play its first game of the season in Sarasota, Fla. Classes were called off at the 1,150-student campus located 50 miles south of Toledo, Ohio.
Kennedy historian Schlesinger dies
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. suffered a heart attack while dining with his family in New York City and died Wednesday. He was 89. Among Schlesinger's books is "A Thousand Days" which chronicled the Kennedy administration for which he worked as a speechwriter, "Robert Kennedy and His Times" and "The Age of Jackson." He coined the phrase "imperial presidency" in his strong criticisms of the Nixon administration and spoke bitterly in opposition to America's current war in Iraq.
Anna Nicole Smith's body returns to the Bahamas
Former Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith's body was flown to the Bahamas Friday, ending a bizarre legal battle between her boyfriend and estranged mother over where the model would be buried. Tourists and fans cried "Anna! We love you!" as her coffin was delivered to the Mount Horeb Baptist Church in Nassau. She was buried at Lakeview Memorial Gardens, next to the grave of her 20-year-old son, Daniel, who died in September of an apparent drug overdose.
Wall Street stumbles in 416-point plunge
The Dow Jones industrials average plummeted 416 points Tuesday following deep declines in Chinese and other Asian markets amidst fears that U.S. and Chinese economies were facing recession. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke issued a calm assessment for Congress Wednesday, assuring lawmakers that the markets "seem to be working well." Investors calmed down Wednesday and Thursday, but started another, milder round of selling Friday. The Dow dropped more than 120 points Friday.
Terrorist suspect details beatings by U.S.
Human Rights Watch issued a report Monday detailing testimony by accused al Qaeda operative Marwan Jabour who said he was beaten, burned, and chained naked to a cell wall for weeks in Pakistan and at a secret U.S.-run prison in Afghanistan. The group wants President Bush to detail the names and fates of all secret detainees. Jabour said he was arrested in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2004. The CIA said that its interrogation methods were made "with great care and close review."
Astronaut charged with attempted kidnap of rival
Florida prosecutors Friday charged NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, 43, with trying to kidnap a romantic rival, but decided against a police recommendation that she also be charged with attempted murder. Police said Nowak drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando Feb. 5 to challenge Colleen Shipman, whom she thought was romantically involved with fellow astronaut William Oefelein, a space shuttle pilot. Police said Nowak, armed with a BB-gun and a knife, sprayed a chemical into Shipman's car.
Cheney unharmed in Afghan bomb attack
A suicide bomber attacked the entrance of Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney. Twenty-three people died in the attack, but Cheney was never in danger. "I heard a loud boom. The Secret Service came in and told me there had been an attack on the main gate," Cheney told reporters. An Internet message site often used by militants claimed "a mujahid" had targeted Cheney in the suicide attack, a claim discounted by military authorities.
Japan prime minister renews controversy over 'comfort women'
An old wound was reopened Thursday when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said there is "no proof" that so-called "comfort women" from the Philippines, Korea and China were coerced to provide sex to Japanese troops during World War II. The remark drew angry responses from elected officials throughout Asia. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte tried to sidestep the issue during a visit to Tokyo. "Our view is that what happened during the war was most deplorable," he said. Negroponte said Japan must work out the issue with its Asian neighbors.
Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.scrippsnews.com
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