By THOMAS HARGROVE
Scripps Howard News Service
May 12, 2007
A team of archaeologists from Hebrew University announced Tuesday that the tomb of King Herod, who ruled ancient Israel when Jesus was born, has been located in the ruins of the king's winter palace in the Judean desert along the West Bank. The team found pieces of elaborately carved limestone after excavating the site. "It's a sarcophagus we don't just see anywhere," archaeologist Ehud Netzer told reporters. Herod ruled much of the Holy Land during the Roman occupation of Palestine. He began a large-scale construction program in Jerusalem that included an expansion of the city's Second Temple where Jesus prayed and taught.
Northern Ireland begins power-share government
Once bitter enemies in a struggle that killed 3,700 people, Protestant leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuinness assembled peacefully Tuesday to christen a new power-sharing government in Northern Ireland. "I believe Northern Ireland has come to a time of peace, a time when hate will no longer rule," Paisley said. The deal was a victory for United States diplomats who brokered the so-called Good Friday Accords in 1998. It was also a valuable legacy for outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Prime Minister Tony Blair announces resignation
British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced his resignation Thursday in an address to the nation that touted his successes and urged public understanding for his participation in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. "Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right," Blair told openly weeping supporters. "I may have been wrong, but that's your call. But believe one thing if nothing else: I did what I thought was right for our country." Blair will retire on June 27. His expected replacement is Gordon Brown, chancellor of the exchequer, who helped Blair rebuild Britain's Labour Party.
Six Muslims arrested for plotting Fort Dix attack
Six foreign-born Muslims were arrested Tuesday after the FBI said they tried to purchase automatic rifles to be used in mass attacks on soldiers at New Jersey's Fort Dix Army base. The six were from the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia. Prosecutors said the group's goal was "to kill as many American soldiers as possible" with guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. Authorities said they learned of the plot after a suspicious New Jersey store clerk reported the group had filmed a video showing themselves firing assault weapons while shouting about jihad.
House continues to spar with Bush over Iraq
The Democratic-controlled House voted Thursday to fund military operations in Iraq on a so-called "installment plan" requiring progress in the war. President Bush vowed to veto the measure, but also bowed to a request by moderate Republicans to discuss benchmarks -- political and military goals that must be met by the Iraqis. "Democrats are not going to give the president a blank check for a war without end," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The installment plan bill is not expected to pass in the Senate.
Pentagon calls for more troops in Iraq
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq, said Friday he doesn't have enough troops to contain the growing violence in Diyala province north of Baghdad. "We have plans to put additional forces in that region," Mixon said. Meanwhile, the Pentagon on Monday began notifying more than 35,000 soldiers and Marines to prepare to deploy to Iraq this fall. President Bush initially ordered an additional 21,500 combat troops, but military leaders are planning for a larger force increase. There currently are about 146,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Judge orders D.C. list of "Johns" to be sealed
U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler on Thursday ordered alleged prostitution ring leader Deborah Jeane Palfrey, 51, not to release to the news media any more phone records of her alleged former clients. The judge said further disclosures of which prominent Washingtonians had apparently solicited women in her escort service would amount to "witness intimidation." Prosecutors claim Palfrey, of Vallejo, Calif., collected more than $2 million in prostitution services from 1993 to 2006.
Nation fights scattered wildfires
Unseasonably dry weather caused widespread wildfires in California, Georgia and Florida this week. Firefighters were making a stand against flames threatening the town of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles Friday. At least 4,000 acres have already been burned. "Everyone is working very hard," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said. A new wildfire at blackened more than 100,000 acres in Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp, authorities said Thursday. An estimated 300 square miles have burned in the Southeast in recent weeks.
Searchers find bodies in tornado-ravished Kansas
Rescue workers spent much of the week looking for bodies in the rubble that was Greensburg, Kan., a community of 1,600 that was flattened by a massive tornado late last week. At least 11 people died. "A lot of us have seen the pictures of what happened here and the pictures don't do it justice," said a somber President Bush after touring the devastation Wednesday. The White House and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, argued earlier over whether National Guard deployments to Iraq hampered her state's response to the disaster.
Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.scrippsnews.com
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