By BILL STRAUB
Scripps Howard News Service
July 15, 2005
Rove in the middle?
The tangled web revolving around the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame has led to the West Wing desk of honcho Karl Rove. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek and others reported this week that Time magazine reported that Matt Cooper and syndicated columnist Bob Novak both received word on her spy status from Rove. The White House has remained tight-lipped despite press secretary Scott McClellan's treatment by your honorable ink-stained wretches. More fun to come.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist, suffering from thyroid cancer, was hospitalized Wednesday after suffering from a fever. But the 80-year-old jurist surprised a lot of people late Thursday - including, perhaps, President Bush - by declaring that he doesn't intend to retire anytime soon.
Changes in Homeland Security
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday announced plans for a massive overhaul, indicating an intent to use new technology to help protect the nation's transit system from a biological attack or other weapons of mass destruction.
Guard, Reserve numbers down; eight killed in Iraq
The Pentagon reports that the number of National Guard and Reserve troops on duty has fallen to about 138,000 -down from the 220,000 who received marching orders shortly after the Iraq invasion. The trend is expected to continue. Meanwhile, eight U.S. troops were reported killed in Iraq this week, bringing the total to 1,761.
North Korea negotiates
North Korea, which has boycotted talks aimed at eliminating its nuclear-weapons program for more than a year, expressed its intention to return to the negotiating table later this month. Of course, it's North Korea we're talking about here, so whether the get-together ever occurs is anybody's guess.
Four cited in British bombing
British police determined that last week's subway-bus bombings that killed at least 52 were carried about by four British-born men. It appears that at least one of the blasts was the result of a suicide bomber. On Friday, authorities arrested an Egyptian chemist, Magdy Mahmoud Mustafa el-Nashar, in connection with the incident and are looking into a possible al Qaeda connection in Pakistan.
Bomber kills schoolchildren
A terrorist drove into a group of children gathered in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday and detonated a bomb, killing 27, most of them kids. Iraq's Interior Ministry reported that civilians and military personnel died at a rate of more than 800 a month from August 2004 to May 2005.
Dennis hits Panhandle
Bad news for coast dwellers - Hurricane Dennis hit shore near Pensacola, Fla., on Sunday, with winds reaching 120 mph. The storm didn't cause as much damage as feared - in fact, it led to rain in the parched midlands. But the fact that it was the fourth named storm already this season doesn't bode well.
Discovery launch aborted
The liftoff of the space shuttle Discovery, initially set for Wednesday, was postponed after a malfunction in a fuel sensor. The seven-person mission, NASA's first since the 2003 Columbia disaster, may get another chance on Sunday, but it's increasingly likely the launch won't occur until later in the week.
NY landmark closing
The Fulton Fish Market, a noisy and malodorous spot near South Street in little old New York since at least the 1830s, is making preparations to abandon its prime Manhattan real estate for more modern quarters in the Bronx, further contributing to the white-breading of America.
In the Nice Work-if-You-Can-Get-It Department, Stephen Crawford, who was appointed co-president of Morgan Stanley in March and given the old heave-ho just three months later, was given a $32 million parting gift.
Former WorldCom chairman Bernard Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday for his involvement in an $11 billion fraud that decimated the communications firm.
In what has became a frequent occurrence, the American League again defeated the National League in baseball's All-Star game, this time 7-5. Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada was chosen the game's MVP.
The National Hockey League - that's the sport where guys skate up and down a sheet of ice, hit a hard rubber puck and fight, in case you've forgotten - announced a six-year collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday. Last season was cancelled as the result of a labor dispute.
"Desperate Housewives," the satire about bored suburban women hopping from bed-to-bed, picked up 15 Emmy nominations for ABC on Thursday, tying for first place with long-running sitcom Will & Grace over on NBC.
Claude Simon, the French author of "The Flanders Road" and many other novels and winner of the 1985 Nobel Prize for literature, died Saturday at age 91.
Mickey Owen, a good-fielding, four-time All-Star catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers who, unfortunately, is best known for dropping a third strike in the 1941 World Series that opened the way for a New York Yankees victory, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 89.
Howard News Service, Reuters, CNN and MSNBC contributed to this report.
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