By BILL STRAUB
Scripps Howard News Service
June 12, 2005
A bright spot for the United States in the war in Iraq - Marines uncovered a network of underground bunkers in the western part of the country near Karma, apparently used by insurgents as an armory and a hideout.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, facing serious opposition from militants in Hamas, has postponed the legislative elections set for July 17. No word on whether Tom DeLay has been pulled in to help draw the district lines.
Trial focus on 160 deaths
The first trial of one-time Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein, set for late summer or early fall, will focus on the deaths of almost 160 people in the Shiite village of Dujail.
N. Korea willing to talk
Those frustratingly unpredictable folks in North Korea are at it again - offering a commitment to return to the so-called six-party talks aimed at wrangling their nuclear weapons away from them. No date has been set to resume discussions.
Bolivian President Carlos Mesa bowed to the demands of Indian protesters and resigned his office on Wednesday. Gee, political unrest in South America. Whoda thunk it.
The cease-fire between Palestinian militants and Israel appears to be eroding. On Tuesday, a mortar attack in Gaza killed three workers in an Israeli settlement. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, maintaining the attack came in response to the death of a commander in Jenin.
Five U.S. Marines were killed Thursday as the result of a roadside bomb during combat operations in western Iraq. At least 22 Americans were killed in Iraq this week, bringing the total for the war to 1,687.
Commission wants action
Members of the 9/11 Commission headed by former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean are regrouping a year after issuing a report critical of U.S. security efforts to make sure the White House and Congress don't pitch their recommendations into the circular file.
N.Y. to stadium: Drop dead
New York, New York, it's a helluva town, the Bronx is up and the $2.2 billion stadium proposed for the west side to lure the 2012 Summer Olympics is down. The guys with the say-so in Albany refused to go along, and even Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn't have the necessary scratch to build it himself.
SCOTUS sides with Congress
The Supreme Court, no hippies there, ruled 6-3 Monday that Congress has the authority to override states that seek to permit the medicinal use of marijuana.
Army misses goal
The Army missed its recruiting goal - again - falling short of the mark by about 25 percent in May. It was the fourth consecutive month it didn't meet its target.
Bush, Blair meet
President Bush met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the White House on Tuesday to go over the agenda for the Group of Eight summit in Scotland next month. Bush OK'd a plan to forgive Africa's debt but wouldn't commit to doubling U.S. aid to the troubled continent. Both men also dismissed the so-called Downing Street memo, which maintains the White House had decided to go to war in Iraq at least eight months before the official declaration.
The Senate finally confirmed two of President Bush's most controversial judicial nominees - Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and William Pryor to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta - after considerable wrangling and Democratic protests that both were outside the legal mainstream.
Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean continued to grab headlines, characterizing the GOP as "pretty much a white Christian party" that is not dedicated to diversity. Republicans, who are always polite and respectful when talking about Democrats, were simply aghast at the comments and Democratic senators, meeting with the chairman on Thursday, urged him to cool the rhetoric.
The Justice Department revealed Thursday that the FBI missed at least five opportunities to find two of the 9/11 hijackers when they settled in San Diego and prepared for the attacks that killed about 3,000.
GM announces cuts
General Motors unveiled plans on Tuesday to cut at least 25,000 jobs by the end of 2008, a move expected to save about $2.5 billion annually as sales continue to slip.
Crowe in trouble
Actor Russell Crowe, living up to his image, was arrested in New York on Monday after allegedly throwing a telephone and striking a hotel clerk he found less than helpful at a Soho hotel. Crowe plays boxer Jim Braddock in his latest release, "Cinderella Man."
Henin-Hardenne takes cup
Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium won her second French Open title in three years, defeating Mary Pierce of France, 6-1, 6-1, on the clay courts of Roland Garros.
Anne Bancroft, who won a best-actress Oscar for her portrayal of Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker" and achieved a measure of immortality as Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate," died Tuesday. The wife of comic madman Mel Brooks was 73.
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