By BILL STRAUB
Scripps Howard News Service
May 13, 2005
Flyover causes panic
An off-course, single-engine aircraft briefly violated Washington airspace on Wednesday, flying within three miles of the White House and causing the evacuation of several government buildings. Order was restored and the pilot will not be criminally charged.
Anti-terrorism funds OK'd
President Bush signed an $82 billion emergency spending bill, the fifth since 9/11, to fund the war on terrorism. Most of the funds, $75.9 billion, will go to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The legislation included the Real ID Act, which requires states to issue a different type of driver's licenses to illegal aliens.
Bolton moves forward - sort of
After a three-week delay and much heated rhetoric, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday forwarded John Bolton's nomination to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to the Senate floor - without a recommendation of whether it should be approved. The vote was 10-8 along party lines. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, signed off on sending the nomination to the floor, but added that Bolton is "the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld released on Friday his list of recommended base closings. If carried out, axing the facilities would save an estimated $50 billion over 20 years. Rumsfeld is looking to shutter 33 major bases and realign 29 others. Maine appears to have gotten the secretary's goat - it's in line to lose almost 7,000 military and civilian jobs.
House Republican leader Tom DeLay of Texas, under fire for alleged ethics improprieties, was honored at a $250-a-plate dinner in Washington Thursday night by about a dozen conservative organizations. DeLay told the faithful that Democrats offer nothing to the country. "No ideas. No leadership. No agenda," he said.
The Rev. Chan Chandler, whose idea of spreading the word was to tell congregants who supported John Kerry in the presidential election to "repent or resign," stepped down Tuesday as minister of the East Waynesville Baptist Church in North Carolina.
Jerry B. Hobbs, an ex-con, was charged Tuesday in the beating and stabbing deaths of his daughter, Laura, 8, and her best friend, 9-year-old Krystal Tobias, in Zion, Ill.
Bush, Putin meet
President Bush stood next to his pal, Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a riser in Moscow's Red Square on Monday, reviewing the troops as part of a gala commemorating the end of World War II in Europe 60 years ago.
In Iraq, Marines killed about 100 insurgents near the Syrian border on Monday, but the situation remains problematic. More than 400 people have been killed in fighting over the past two weeks, including at least 69 people on Wednesday. American deaths now exceed 1,600. At least 21 were killed Thursday, including two Marines.
China nixes plan
North Korea declared Wednesday that it has harvested a nuclear reactor for weapons fuel. The announcement came a day after China let it be known it would not go along with any economic or political sanctions on North Korea because of its dalliance with nuclear weapons, apparently undercutting U.S. strategy. Again.
Afghans took to the streets to protest continued U.S. presence. Many Afghans were upset by reports that the American military was abusing copies of the Koran, Islam's holy book, while attempting to force terrorist suspects to talk.
Court win for United
A bankrupt United Airlines on Tuesday won court approval to shift its pension obligations to the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, essentially leaving Washington holding the tab and assuring that retired workers will receive lower benefits than anticipated.
"Spamalot" gets a lot
"Spamalot," a musical based on a Monty Python movie, grabbed a field-leading 14 Tony Award nominations.
In the story that simply won't go away, former child star Macaulay Culkin told a California jury that he had shared a bed with singer Michael Jackson on numerous occasions but that there was never any hanky-panky. Jackson is charged with child molestation.
Long shot at Churchill
Giacomo, a 50-to-1 long shot, came from off the pace to win the 131st Kentucky Derby, leading to an increase in mint-julep sales as bettors drowned their sorrows.
Former Rep. Peter Rodino of New Jersey, who chaired the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach President Richard Nixon in 1974, died Saturday at the age of 95.
Lloyd Cutler, a Democratic rainmaker who advised several presidents, serving for a time as general counsel to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, died Sunday. He was 87.
The Washington Post, MSNBC and Scripps Howard News Service.
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