Scripps Howard News Service
July 23, 2006
The death toll mounted to more than 300 in Lebanon in the Israeli assault. Thirty-four Israelis also have been killed, including 19 soldiers. Lebanon's prime minister, appealing for an end to the fighting, said his country "has been torn to shreds." Mass evacuations of U.S. citizens began. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for an immediate cease-fire and warned of a humanitarian crisis in Lebanon. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is to leave Sunday for the Mideast, said that she would meet with allies in the region to promote "stability and lasting peace."
Bush vetoes stem-cell bill
President Bush vetoed legislation easing limits on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. It was the first veto of his presidency. The bill's advocates said they did not have the two-thirds vote margin in Congress needed to override the veto. After an emotional debate, the Senate voted 63-37 on Tuesday for easing the limits. The House last year passed the same bill by a vote of 238-194.
Heat wave grips nation
Heat smothered much of the nation and contributed to at least 20 deaths. A powerful storm toppled hundreds of trees and knocked out power to a half-million homes around St. Louis. The Missouri governor declared a state of emergency and sent in the National Guard to evacuate people to air-conditioned public buildings.
Tsunami kills 500 in Indonesia
A magnitude 7.7 undersea earthquake unleashed a tsunami that crashed into a 110-mile stretch of Indonesia's Java island and killed more than 500 people. Six-foot-high waves wrecked scores of homes and businesses. The quake was not felt by most people on the coast, and the first they knew of the wave was when they heard screams of "Tsunami! Tsunami!"
House votes to protect pledge
The House voted to bar federal courts from ruling on the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance's phrase "under God." The legislation passed, 260-167, and went to the Senate. Opponents criticized the bill for undercutting judicial independence. "We are making an all-out assault on the Constitution of the United States, which, thank God, will fail," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
Lieberman trailing in primary
A public-opinion poll showed Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman trailing his Democratic primary challenger for the first time. Businessman Ned Lamont was beating Lieberman, 51 percent to 47 percent, in the Quinnipiac University poll. Lieberman has been under fire from activists within his own party mainly because of his support for the war in Iraq.
Bush speaks to NAACP convention
President Bush spoke to the NAACP's annual convention for the first time in his presidency, regretting that many blacks "distrust my political party." Bush said, "I consider it a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historical ties with the African-American community. For too long, my party wrote off the African-American vote, and many African-Americans wrote off the Republican Party."
Las Vegas bans food for homeless in parks
The Las Vegas city council outlawed giving food to homeless people in city parks. Residents complained that homeless people were making the parks too crowded. The law carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 and six months in jail. Proponents said it would encourage the homeless to go to charities for food.
Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com
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