By BILL STRAUB
Scripps Howard News Service
July 01, 2005
The number of military dead as a result of the Iraq war reached 1,745 this week, an average of 2.32 deaths per day during the first 835 days of hostilities.
Spain legalizes gay nuptials
While some in the United States are pushing for a constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage, one longtime ally _ Spain _ legalized it and Canada is knocking on the door, with formal approval expected by the end of the month.
16 dead in Afghanistan
Sixteen American troops were killed in Afghanistan Wednesday when the MH-47 Chinook helicopter they were flying in crashed in the mountainous Kunar province near Pakistan. The deaths occurred during a battle with al Qaeda militants. The search continues for ground troops in the area who may be missing.
New Iranian president fingered
Several former hostages who were held at the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and into early 1981 as a result of rampant anti-U.S. feelings maintain that Iran's president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, served as one of their captors. The Iranian government rejects the claim but the Bush administration says it will investigate.
Graham ends crusade
In what was being touted as his final crusade to the Big Apple, 86-year-old Billy Graham ended three days of preaching at the old World's Fair site in Queens on Sunday, citing his own frailty to emphasize the need for repentance.
New Freedom Tower
From our deja-vu-all-over-again correspondent, yet another design has been unveiled for the proposed Freedom Tower at the former site of the World Trade Center. The 77-story glass edifice will sit atop a reinforced, 200-foot concrete and steel pedestal.
Time dies like a dog
In an utterly shameful display, Time Inc. caved to demands of a special prosecutor and will hand over documents concerning the confidential sources of reporter Matt Cooper, despite his protestations. The documents were requested as part of a grand-jury probe into who released the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Court's mixed message
On the final day of its 2004-2005 term, the Supreme Court sent a mixed message regarding religious displays on public grounds, maintaining that Texas can keep a 10-foot-high Ten Commandments monument on its state Capitol grounds but ordering the removal of framed copies of the same commandments from the walls of two Kentucky courthouses.
On the same theme, observers waited all week for Chief Justice William Rehnquist to declare it was time for him to go fishing, to no avail. Instead, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced Friday that she is retiring.
"It has been a great privilege indeed to have served as a member of the court for 24 terms," the 75-year-old justice wrote President Bush in a one-paragraph resignation letter. "I will leave it with enormous respect for the integrity of the court and its role under our constitutional structure." Let the games begin.
Bush: "It's worth it."
Stung by plummeting public support for the nation's military involvement in Iraq, President Bush commandeered the airwaves in a nationally televised address on Tuesday, saying nothing much about anything new. "Is the sacrifice worth it?" he asked rhetorically. "It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country."
Energy bill passes
The Senate, after years of delay, finally passed a comprehensive energy bill that includes tax incentives for oil and gas production as well as money for development of alternative sources. Now members of the Senate get together with House counterparts to come up with a compromise bill.
National security reform
President Bush ordered changes in the nation's security superstructure on Wednesday, creating a new national security division within the FBI that will fall under the direction of his new director of national intelligence, John Negroponte.
A federal jury in Birmingham, Ala., acquitted hometown boy Richard M. Scrushy on charges that he presided over a $2.7 billion accounting fraud while running the HealthSouth hospital chain, carrying the outfit to the brink of bankruptcy.
Mack takes over
John J. Mack, ousted in a housecleaning at Morgan Stanley four years ago, returned Thursday as the investment bank's new chief executive.
Bank of America announced plans to purchase MBNA, a major issuer of credit cards, in a $35 billion deal.
Kim takes Open
South Korea's appropriately named Birdie Kim, who changed her first name to differentiate herself from other Kims on the tour, sank a 30-yard bunker shot en route to a two-shot victory in the U.S. Women's Open.
Ben and Jenny sittin' in a tree ...
In a world-changing turn of events, actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner got hitched ... AND SHE'S PREGNANT! Ooh, who would have ever thought?
Shelby Foote, a celebrated author who gained a degree of fame as a result of his commentary on "The Civil War," Ken Burns' 11-hour documentary that first ran on PBS in 1990, died in Memphis, Tenn., his longtime home. He was 88.
John T. Walton
Wal-Mart heir John T. Walton, a philanthropist who donated substantial funds to educate low-income children, died in the crash of his ultra-light aircraft near Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Wednesday. He was 58.
Scripps Howard News Service, Reuters, CNN and MSNBC contributed to this report
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