Looking Forward

Looking Back

April 10, 2005



Testimony is expected to begin in the Fort Bragg, N.C., court-martial of Sgt. Hasan Akbar, accused in a 2003 grenade attack on soldiers in Kuwait. It is the first time since the Vietnam War that a U.S. soldier has been prosecuted on charges of murder or attempted murder of another soldier during wartime.

The Food and Drug Administration begins a three-day meeting in Gaithersburg with its scientific advisers to consider whether to end the nation's decade-plus ban on most silicone-gel breast implants. Government scientists say more research may be needed to determine how long the devices will last in a woman's body and what health risks could arise if they break. The FDA plans to hear public comments from women who say they were harmed by the implants and those who say the devices improved their lives.


The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is scheduled to begin hearings for John Negroponte, nominated by President Bush to be the United States' first national intelligence director. If confirmed by the Senate he will oversee 15 intelligence agencies. His most recent post for the Bush administration was ambassador to Iraq.


American Rivers holds a news conference in Washington to release this year's America's Most Endangered Rivers report for 2005 highlighting those rivers they say face uncertain futures. A Maryland river is expected to be among those identified. Maryland Republican Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest and Will Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, are expected to attend.


A ban on all lighters aboard airplanes begins. The Transportation Security Agency says lighters also will be banned in airports beyond security checkpoints. The ban applies to people carrying lighters "on their person" and in carry-ons.


The nationwide income tax filing deadline falls. Taxpayers who can't complete their returns before the deadline should seek an easy-to-obtain extension.


This is the tentative wedding date for Mary Kay Letourneau and a former sixth-grader who fathered two of her children. Letourneau, 34, served more than seven years in prison for raping Vili Fualaau, who was 12 when they started their affair. He is now 22.


The World

Pope John Paul II was buried in the grotto under St. Peter's Basilica after a week of mournful celebrations that saw hundreds of thousands stream past his body as it lay in state and a funeral that drew scores of world leaders to the Vatican. Millions of pilgrims traveled to Rome.

After weeks of feuding, Iraq's newly elected parliament named Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani as president and Shiite Adel Abdul-Mahdi and interim President Ghazi al-Yawer, a Sunni Arab, as his two vice presidents, putting in place the interim government that is to lead to a permanent constition for the first Iraqi democracy in 50 years.

Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Europe's longest-reigning monarch, who was married to American actress Grace Kelly, died at 81. Their son, Prince Albert, assumes the throne of the principality on the Mediterranean.

The Nation

The first Medal of Honor given since the Vietnam War was awarded posthumously to Paul Ray Smith, who was credited with saving 100 U.S. troops when he manned a machine gun against Iraqi troops at the Baghdad airport before a bullet to the head killed him during the invasion two years ago. President Bush gave the medal to Smith's 11-year-old son.

In an antiterrorism move, the U.S. government said that by the beginning of 2008, U.S. citizens will need a passport to travel to and from Canada, Mexico and other nearby countries.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee that is considering the extension of USA Patriot Act, passed in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to give law enforcement expanded powers, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said any move to weaken the measures would be a form of "unilateral disarmament" in the war on terrorism.

White supremacist Matthew Hale - convicted of soliciting someone to kill U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow, though not a suspect in the February killings of her husband and mother - was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a federal judge who called him "extremely dangerous" and found his crime to be an act of terrorism. In a rambling two-hour statement, Hale professed his innocence.


"In a special way may Divine Providence be praised for this, that the period of the so-called `cold war' ended without violent nuclear conflict."

Pope John Paul II, in the last testament, released after his death

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