Scripps Howard News Service
August 12, 2005
In a picture-perfect landing, the space shuttle Discovery returned safely to Earth to complete a 14-day mission. "Houston," said Discovery Commander Eileen Collins, "we are stopped. Happy to be back." It was the first safe re-entry to Earth since the Columbia disaster more than two years ago. Unstable weather forced the shuttle to land at Edwards Air Force Base in California rather than the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Jennings dies of lung cancer
ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, who announced in April that he had lung cancer and never returned to the air afterward, died at his New York home. He was 67. With Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, Jennings dominated network news for more than 20 years. He was known for his suave delivery, and his was the most popular news program from the late '80s to the mid-'90s.
Bush signs energy bill
President Bush traveled from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, to Albuquerque, N.M., to sign the 1,724-page energy bill that Congress finally adopted after five years of wrangling. It gives billions of dollars in tax subsidies to energy companies, but won't immediately lower gas prices or America's reliance on foreign oil. "This bill is not going to solve our energy challenges overnight," Bush said. "It's going to take years of focused efforts to alleviate those problems."
Katherine Harris running for Senate
Katherine Harris, famously lampooned for her heavy makeup when she was Florida's top election official during the disputed 2000 presidential balloting, kicked off her campaign for the U.S. Senate. Harris, now a congresswoman, is challenging Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.
Interest rates go up again
Economic growth is so robust that the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the 10th time in 14 months to try to keep it under control. The economy is so strong that even high gas prices haven't fazed it. Productivity is surging, and unemployment is at a relatively low 5 percent. The Fed raised a key short-term rate by one-quarter percentage point to 3.5 percent. Immediately afterward, commercial banks raised the prime lending rate by one-quarter point.
Escaped convict and wife captured after manhunt
The wife of a prison convict allegedly shot dead a guard outside a Tennessee courthouse and then fled with her husband. George and Jennifer Hyatte were captured a day later at a motel in Columbus, Ohio, by law officers acting on a tip from the cabbie who dropped them off there. He told police he became suspicious when the couple told him they were headed to an Amway convention but never tried to sell him any of their products.
Israelis rally against Gaza withdrawal
Thousands of Israelis rallied in Tel Aviv against next week's government-ordered evacuation of settlers from Gaza and part of the West Bank. Demonstrators - who wore orange, the symbolic color of the protest movement - filled Rabin Square to hear speakers condemn the pullout. The day before, thousands of Orthodox Jews held a mass prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to protest the withdrawal.
Stones record antiwar song
Mick Jagger denied that the antiwar song "Sweet Neo Con" on the Rolling Stones' upcoming album is directed at President Bush personally, but acknowledged that "it is certainly very critical of certain policies of the administration." The song contains the line: "It's liberty for all, democracy's our style, unless you are against us, then it's prison without trial."
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