Looking Forward

Looking Back

March 27, 2005



The State Department gives an on-the-record briefing at the Foreign Press Center in Washington on "Release of the State Department's Report `Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2004-2005.'" The first report was delivered to Congress in 2003, in compliance with that year's 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which requires the State Department to report on steps that the U.S. government is taking to encourage and foster human rights improvements in countries where there are serious human rights violations.

In Michael Jackson's trial on charges of sexually molesting a minor, a hearing is planned on a prosecution request to allow evidence of alleged prior sexual offenses.

FOR THE RECORD - A photo caption in the Perspective section in yesterday's editions gave the incorrect date for the White House Easter Egg Roll. It is scheduled to be held today. The Sun regrets the error.

Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor who gained notoriety by calling 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns," will learn whether a university assessment of his academic writing includes any evidence that he committed firing offenses.

NASA officials are expected to formally announce the timing of the next space shuttle flight - the first since the Columbia disaster - at a Houston briefing on the International Space Station. Columbia disintegrated on its return to Earth in February 2003, killing all seven astronauts. Discovery is scheduled to be launched in May, and the agency plans up to 28 more flights to finish the space station.


The trial of Spc. Sabrina Harman in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse case is set to begin at Fort Hood, Texas. Harman's face became known around the world after she was photographed posing with a stack of naked prisoners.


Former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland is to report to federal prison in Ayer, Mass., to serve a term of one year and one day for corruption. Rowland, 47, pleaded guilty in December to a corruption charge, admitting he sold his influence for more than $100,000 in trips to Las Vegas, vacations in Vermont and Florida, and improvements to his lakeside cottage. He resigned last summer amid a drive to impeach him.

Conservatives who oppose Episcopal Church gay policies are to hold a rally, "From Surviving to Surviving: Anglicans in the 21st Century," in Woodbridge, Va. Leaders of the national Episcopal Church say the consecration of an openly gay bishop as had an "insignificant" impact on church contributions. For months, analysts have been watching to see if Episcopalians would punish their national church financially for the move.


The World

Iraq and Jordan withdrew their ambassadors amid Iraqi charges that Jordan is allowing terrorists to enter Iraq. Iraqi Shiite demonstrators had raised an Iraqi flag over the Jordanian embassy in protest.

France's National Assembly voted to adopt a government-backed plan that would allow employers to negotiate workweeks longer than the country's now-mandated 35 hours as the country struggles with declining competitiveness and a 10 percent unemployment rate.

American military officials said that U.S. forces killed 24 insurgents in a clash south of Baghdad while Iraqi officials announced that Iraqi and American forces killed at least 80 insurgents in a raid on what appeared to be a large guerrilla training camp. In Ramadi, a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb, killing 11 Iraqi police commandos and injuring 14 other people, including two American soldiers. Five female Iraqi translators working for the U.S. military were killed by unknown attackers in Baghdad.

The United States announced an agreement to sell about two dozen of the high-tech F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan, a reward for that country's help in the war on terror. The announcement angered Pakistan's sub-continent rival, India.

The interim prime minister in Kyrgyzstan - top opposition leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was picked after widespread demonstrations forced strongman president Askar Akayev to flee the country - moved to quell looting and disorder.

For the first time in his papacy, the ailing Pope John Paul II missed the major events of Holy Week at the Vatican.

The Nation

Jeff Weise, a 15-year-old student at Red Lake High School on an Indian reservation in Minnesota, apparently killed his grandfather and a woman at their home, then went to his school and killed seven others - five students, a teacher and a security guard - before killing himself.

The Federal Reserve raised the key federal fund interest rate by a quarter point, to 2.75 percent, and Chairman Alan Greenspan indicated it would continue to rise amid concerns that soaring energy prices will spur broader inflation.

The trustees for Social Security and Medicare reported on those programs' finances, saying that the Social Security trust fund will be unable to meet its obligations in 2041, while Medicare's trust fund - which pays hospital costs for the elderly - will be depleted by 2020.

A Texas jury found Tyrone Williams, 34, guilty of 38 counts of transporting illegal immigrants but spared him from facing the death penalty as it could not agree if the truck driver was directly responsible for the deaths of 19 of the immigrants who died as temperatures soared in his airtight tractor-trailer.


"The court appreciates the gravity of the consequences of denying injunctive relief. Even under these difficult and time-strained circumstances, however, and notwithstanding Congress' expressed interest in the welfare of Theresa Schiavo, this court is constrained to apply the law to the issues before it."

U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore, in his 13-page ruling that denied the request of the parents of Terry Schiavo for an injunction that would have ordered the immediate restoration of a feeding tube to their brain-damaged daughter

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