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Week in review
Scripps Howard News Service


August 26, 2005

Katrina lashes Florida

Hurricane Katrina whipped across south Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico, where it strengthened and turned north. Forecasters said Katrina would make landfall again on the Gulf Coast between Florida and Louisiana. In south Florida, the storm killed at least five people and knocked out electricity to more than 1 million homes and businesses. Katrina brought horizontal rain, 15-foot seas and 92-mph wind gusts. Nearly 12 inches of rain fell on Miami.

Bush defends Iraq occupation

President Bush tried to counter a rising antiwar movement in the country in a series of speeches. "So long as I'm the president, we will stay, we will fight and we will win the war on terror," Bush said. He ended a two-year policy of not mentioning casualties publicly. "In this war, we have said farewell to some very good men and women, including 491 heroes of the National Guard and Reserves," he said in Nampa, Idaho. "These brave men and women gave their lives for a cause that is just and necessary for the security of our country, and now we will honor their sacrifice by completing their mission."

Iraqi leaders haggle over constitution

A third deadline expired without an accord on a draft constitution in Iraq. Incited in part by differences among Sunni and Shiite Arabs and ethnic Kurds over the constitution, political violence surged in the country. President Bush tried to break the impasse with a phone call to a top Iraqi Shiite leader.

Base-closing commission makes decisions

The base-closing commission largely endorsed the Pentagon's efforts to streamline support services across the military. But the panel also rebuffed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld by voting to keep open some bases, including Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, a submarine base in Connecticut and a shipyard in Maine. The commission was making decisions in the first round of base closings in a decade.

Bush administration proposes new fuel standards

The Bush administration proposed new fuel economy standards for SUVs and minivans. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said the rules would save 10 billion gallons of gasoline. But environmentalists said the proposal rewards automakers for building bigger gas-guzzlers.

Google branches out

Google unveiled an instant-messaging and voice-communication service for personal computers. The program, called Google Talk, will let users trade text messages and talk with others through their computers. Google hailed voice quality as the distinguishing characteristic of its system. Although the program wasn't linked with any plan to make money, it was the Internet search engine's first attempt to compete in the broader communications industry.

Robertson calls for killing Chavez

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on television, then denied that he said it, then apologized for saying it. "Is it right to call for assassination?" Robertson said. "No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him." Chavez has accused the United States of conspiring to topple his government and possibly backing plots to assassinate him.

Airliner crashes in Peru

In the world's fifth major airline accident this month, a Peruvian plane made an emergency landing in a jungle marsh during a hailstorm and split in two, killing at least 37 people. The accident made August the deadliest month for plane crashes in three years. Fifty-eight people survived the crash.

Newspaper accuses Armstrong of doping

The French newspaper L'Equipe reported that Lance Armstrong provided six urine samples during his first Tour de France victory in 1999 that tested positive for the red-blood-cell booster EPO. The report prompted the director of the tour to suggest that Armstrong "fooled" race officials by doping. Armstrong denied the accusations, calling them "preposterous" and questioning the validity of the testing samples, which were frozen six years ago.


Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service

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